Folau relishes midfield cameo

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Israel Folau’s outside centre cameo came earlier than he would have expected in 2016 but the Waratahs star said he would welcome a second opportunity at the 13.

Folau moved into the midfield when Rob Horne’s night was ended through injury and said he enjoyed the change of pace.

“I enjoyed that challenge," he said.

"It’s something that came as a surprise obviously due to Rob’s injury but I really enjoyed my time there and  hopefully I can get another opportunity later in the year."

The Waratahs back line combination will become more intriguing in the coming weeks with news utility back Bryce Hegarty will miss the rest of the season.

Hegarty was brought to the Waratahs as injury cover for Bernard Foley, whose season start was delayed with a shoulder injury, but an ACL injury ended his Super Rugby return prematurely.

Foley should be on track to return for the Waratahs’ match against the Highlanders in a fortnight’s time, in what will be a timely comeback with the loss of Hegarty and Horne’s injury.

Folau said he would leave it up to the coaches to determine whether he slotted into the midfield again.

“I’m happy to play there if that’s where they want to play for the team and I’m happy to do that.

“It’s a different challenge for me and something I really enjoyed,” he said.

The 26-year-old said the Waratahs would be moving on quickly from their loss to the Brumbies, with a bye week coming up.

“I think the best thing to do is to look at what we did during this game and we can obviously fix up a lot of things and once we do that we’re moving on, done and dusted,” he said.

“We’re going to be working hard during the week and going into the bye ready to go come the following week against the Highlanders.”

The Waratahs’ depth will be tested ahead of that match with injuries across the park and a suspension and Folau said it would be a challenge they would simply have to take in their stride.

“(It'll) be an interesting one for the coaching staff,” he said.

“We've just got to deal with that and I’m sure the coaches will deal with that in the next couple of weeks.”