Gregan tips Israel as Wallaby bolter

Sat, 05 Jan 2013 16:14
Large israel folau tahs training2 Large george gregan 630 Large israel folau media Large leebyrneleighhalfpennylions Large israel folau tahs training

There is almost always a bolter on a B&I Lions tour, but George Gregan reckons Australia can spring a couple of surprises of their own.

There is almost always a bolter on a British and Irish Lions tour, but George Gregan reckons Australia can spring a couple of surprises of their own.

Will Greenwood was the last uncapped player to pull on the famous red jersey of the Lions during the 1997 tour of South Africa.

And the likes of Leigh Halfpenny and Keith Earls were relatively unknown when they returned to the Rainbow Nation 12 years later.

The Wallabies have also turned to untested stars with wing-cum-full-back Andrew Walker converting from Rugby League to start all three Tests against the Lions in 2001.

And Gregan, who was part of that victorious Test series, reckons the Wallabies may have pinched another star in the making from the 13-man code in Israel Folau.

The 23-year-old has switched to Rugby Union, and Super Rugby's Waratahs, after becoming the youngest player to represent Australia and Queensland in the State of Origin.

"Israel is a household name in Australia because of his League background," said Gregan.

"He is just an incredible athlete. It might be a bridge too far to make the Wallaby team, to understand the game in time for the Lions series, but you just never know.

"I'd have him on the wing, maybe [at] No.13, but that is a big transition, to learn the defensive lines and running lines in general.

"He is used to being on the end of an attacking line, so wing probably, but you also have Digby and James O'Connor. That's a good problem."

Another player to keep a close eye on in the upcoming Super Rugby season, which kicks off in February, is the Brumbies' Christian Lealiifano.

The flyhalf was in red-hot form last season before suffering serious injury and Gregan reckons he will provide real competition to the ever controversial Quade Cooper.

"He hasn't played for the Wallabies yet but Christian Lealiifano of the Brumbies was the premier 10 last year until he broke and dislocated his ankle so there are other options, added Gregan

"Lealiifano has everything: magic hands, pace, power, agility and a ridiculous siege-gun boot."

Source: lionsrugby.com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS