Folau unleashed on Reds

Thu, 21 Feb 2013 09:51
Large israel folau tahs v crusa2 Large israel folau passes Large israel folau media Large israel folau waratahs Large israel folau waratahs3

Israel Folau will make his Super Rugby debut on Saturday when he pulls on the Waratahs No.15 jersey against the Reds.

Israel Folau will make his Super Rugby debut on Saturday when he pulls on the Waratahs No.15 jersey against the Reds.

Alongside him, in-form youngster Tom Kingston earns a spot on the left wing with Wallaby Drew Mitchell completing the back three.  

Flyhalf Bernard Foley recovers from an ankle injury to guide the backline that also features Adam Ashley-Cooper and Tom Carter.

Up front, prop Jeremy Tilse earns his maiden Super Rugby start, completing an otherwise all-Wallaby pack.

Now in his eighth season with NSW, the 26-year-old prop's trial form made it hard for head coach Michael Cheika to overlook him.

"All the front rower forwards have made it very difficult for me to pick a starting team," said Cheika.

"Since I've been here Jeremy has been working like crazy, he's strong and fit and he's hungry. We need guys competing against each other to get us hardened for when we go out into the enemy territory, like on Saturday."

The side will be led for the first time by new skipper Dave Dennis who becomes the 164th player to captain NSW since 1882 and the 17th in Super Rugby.

The game is also head coach Cheika's first in charge but the former teammate of Reds' coach Ewen McKenzie says he is relishing the prospect of facing up to arch-rivals Queensland.

"We know we're going into the lion's den for our first game but we're looking forward to it. There's a lot of self belief in the team," he said.

With three trial matches under his belt, Cheika believes Folau's past experiences from league and AFL will help him cope with the big occasion.

"It'll be a pressure cooker atmosphere but he's experienced that before so he'll be ready for it.

"A big part of going away from home is getting the fans against you and you've got to try and silence them by what you do on the field."

On the bench, Cheika has opted for a five-two forward-backs split, relying on halves Matt Lucas and Ben Volavola to cover the backline. If Lucas takes the field, he could make his HSBC Waratahs debut opposite his older brother Ben, the Reds scrumhalf.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Tom Kingston, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Jeremy Tilse.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Mitchell Chapman, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Ben Volavola.

Date: Saturday, February 23
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 18.40 (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Suva
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9