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Code-hopper goes on trial

Thu, 16 May 2013 10:53
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Saturday will be a big test of that
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Code-swapping revelation Israel Folau will try to grab a final chance to impress national selectors Saturday by starring in the Super Rugby a day before Australia name their squad to face the British and Irish Lions.

The Waratahs' athletic former Rugby League Test back is presenting an irresistible case for a call-up against the B&I Lions, with freakish attacking skills making him a must-have pick for many pundits.

And the Waratahs' crunch Super Rugby derby game against Brumbies gives Folau, among other players, the perfect stage before Australia coach Robbie Deans unveils his 25-man squad on Sunday for the upcoming Tests.

Folau scored the winning try in last Saturday's victory over the Stormers, and a week earlier he played a major role in the Waratahs' record-breaking 72-10 thumping of the Southern Kings in South Africa.

"His performances speak for themselves, I think over the past three or four games he's really shown his worth and just how much he's improved," Waratahs attack coach Daryl Gibson said.

The stakes are higher than normal with the Brumbies topping the Australian conference just one point ahead of the Reds, and the Waratahs fighting to make the play-offs.

Even though the Waratahs are in eighth place on the overall ladder and 11 points adrift of the Brumbies, matches between the two sides are feisty and the Canberra-based outfit have won their past three encounters.

"We've done too much work and we've done too much together as a group to let it slip now and it's important that we keep moving forward and grow as a team," Brumbies' Wallaby hooker Stephen Moore said.

"Saturday will be a big test of that.

"The Waratahs are a very experienced team and they're showing now that they know how to win and they'll be hungry to win."

Jake White's Brumbies smashed the Waratahs 35-6 at home on March 9 but the Sydneysiders are much improved under the coaching of Michael Cheika and the return from injury of playmaker Berrick Barnes.

AFP

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