British & Irish Lions 2013

Israel harbours Lions ambitions

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:23
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I have been training at wing and at fullback
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Waratahs league convert Israel Folau would love to face the British and Irish Lions in June as he gets set for his first season in Rugby Union.

Although the cross-code star is yet to play his first game since his high-profile move his natural ability has led to the likes of Wallaby greats George Gregan and Lote Tuqiri tipping him to earn a Wallaby call up sooner rather than later.

The 23-year-old is realistic about his prospects of completing a remarkable rise in just four months of action, however, and he insists he’s only thinking one step at a time ahead of his side’s Super Rugby opener against the Reds on February 23.

“Everyone would love to be a part of that big [Lions] campaign, but my main focus is to try and get a spot in the team for the Waratahs first,” Folau told Australian reporters.

“Hopefully if I am playing good rugby... we will see what happens. It would be nice to be a part of it, but I'm not looking that far ahead.

“I feel pretty good since I started on day one with all the skills and stuff. [But] my body took a bit of time getting used to all the contact. I have missed it for a couple of years, just trying to get my body used to the hits again. That probably took a couple of weeks.”

Folau shone as a wing then a centre during his time in the NRL but no decision has yet been made on where he will feature in the 15-man version of the sport.

Midfield may well be his long-term destination given his eye for a gap and his all-round skill set but he has spent his initial training sessions a little more detached from the action.

“I am pretty open minded to whatever position 'Cheik' [Waratahs boss Michael Cheika] wants me to play in the backline, but at the moment I have been training at wing and at fullback,” added Folau.

“I certainly feel comfortable in those positions. I guess it is a different story when it's time to play, but we will see how we go.

“The main thing for me... when I am really happy that transfers on to the field where I start to play good.”

Source: lionsrugby.com

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