Midfield role for Folau?

Sat, 14 Dec 2013 10:29
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Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie is not concerned by the possibility that the Waratahs may play Israel Folau at centre next year.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie is not concerned by the possibility that the Waratahs may play Israel Folau at centre next year.

With Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley also in the Waratahs' Super Rugby squad speculation is building that coach Michael Cheika may utilise the former Rugby League star at outside centre.

Folau impressed in his debut season this year, proving a serious attacking threat from fullback which is where McKenzie would prefer to see him play.

Cheika has not made any final decisions on positions as yet, and McKenzie said that he is not worried about Folau being asked to play in the midfield.

"Whether they're slightly out of position ... they've got a whole raft of good players all capable of playing different positions," McKenzie told AAP.

"I'm not going to tell Michael Cheika where to play people. I respect the Super Rugby teams have to do what they have to do.

"I'll watch them for the skill contributions they put on the field and the attitude and intensity they display.

"I'll obviously talk to Michael Cheika and see how he's going to do it so I understand what they're trying to achieve.

"It's not going to mean it'll line up with what I'm doing. The best players can adapt, that's why they're the best players."

The Wallabies coach said that Folau has more of an impact at fullback as his attacking threat causes opposition teams to change their approach and kick less.

"The teams who want to kick it means he touches the ball and he gets to play. If they don't want him to touch the ball they don't kick it to him so that's also a good outcome for us.

"Even I was sceptical at the start because he didn't have background in the game and came from different sports ... but clearly he has a terrific attitude, he's a professional operator and he doesn't get distracted. He absorbs ideas and concepts" he said.

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