No counsel from Te'o's old friend Folau in England

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Ben Te’o once turned to Israel Folau for advice on one of the biggest decisions in his career but the England centre hasn't sought out any advice from his old mate this weekend.

Former Brisbane Broncos teammates Te’o and Folau lived together in Sydney in Folau’s early rugby days, when Te’o was playing for South Sydney.

When Te’o began to contemplate a move to the 15-man code, ultimately going to Ireland, Folau was someone he had leaned on closely when making the call..

“I probably never imagined that I'd play Test rugby against an old roommate,” he said.

“It's funny how these things work and Izzy was one of the guys that when I was going to make the change from rugby league, he's one of the guys I went to and had a real deep conversation about if he could me an honest opinion if he thought I could make it or not and he backed me and he said "Give it a go, mate".

“So, I'm here.”

The conversation was one that quelled many of Te’o’s concerns and the Wallabies fullback has turned out to be on the money with his old mate making a big mark for England.

Teo's dream was always to play Origin. Photo: Getty Images“I think we all when we do something we want to do it to our best and we want to be successful and i just wanted to know if he thought I had the tools to be successful and whether they'd transfer into rugby union.

“He said I would so I gave it a go.”

The pair have actually only crossed paths in Test rugby once before, in the 2016 Spring Tour when Te’o came off the bench for England.

Te’o has battled injuries in recent seasons and Folau’s 2017 sabbatical kept him out of the England clash last year.

Their connection goes back a long way, though, and Te’o said Folau’s drive was always something he admired.

“We used to live together, yeah, but a long time ago now, we were coming through,” he said.

“Yeah he was fun to live with, we had some good times but one thing about Izzy is he's very driven in his career and he always wants to play well.

“So, that's something I took away from him.

“I'm just happy with the progression he's made. He's played three codes, he's one of the top fullbacks in the world in rugby union and just trying to follow his lead.”

This is the first time they are guaranteed to go head-to-head from the first whistle, both named as starters for the Twickenham showdown.

Their pair haven’t caught up this week but Te’o said he was well aware of the threat the Aussie posed.

“Yeah i played with Izzy a lot and against him a lot, he's a class player as well,” he said.

“We just have to try to keep him quiet, probably not kick the ball straight down to him and then gallop back.

“We've got our hands full with that and we'll be on it.”

The Wallabies face England at Twickenham on Saturday November 24, kicking off at 3pm local, Sunday 2am AEDT, LIVE on beIn Sports and SBS.