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
Sun, 25 September 2016
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Welford Road
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
Argentina v New Zealand 17h10 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9