Folau faces second year syndrome

Thu, 16 Jan 2014 16:42
Large israel folau waratahs Large israelfolauwallabytraining2 Large folau break630

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika warns Israel Folau faces a challenging second year in Rugby Union despite his dream debut season last year.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika warns Israel Folau faces a challenging second year in Rugby Union despite his dream debut season last year.

Folau exploded onto the scene after making the switch from Rugby League last year, being named the Australian Super Rugby Rookie of the Year and equalling Lote Tuqiri's Australian record of 10 Test tries in a calendar year.

In the process, Folau developed a better understanding of the finer details of the game but Cheika feels he will have to make another step up this season with the opposition now aware of the damage the 24-year-old can do.

"I think there will be a big challenge for him this year, just adjusting from having such a massive season, a small break, backing up again,” Cheika told AAP.

"That's a first for him, so we're mindful in the way that we are preparing him this season, both for mental freshness and also physical.

"But his enthusiasm is ridiculous. He wanted to come back early and stat training and I had to tell him not to come.

"I think just based on that alone, and his quality, the formula is looking good going forward."

Cheika isn’t ruling out moving Folau into the midfield in the forthcoming warm-up games but doesn’t want to make unnecessary changes.

"At this stage he's travelling so well at 15, we're not going to play around too much," said Cheika.

Folau will face stiff competition for the fullback berth in the form of Kurtley Beale, who’s back in Sydney after a failed stint at the Melbourne Rebels.

Asked who he favoured at this stage, the Waratahs coach quipped, "seven and a half each, that will make 15," adding, "I'll just see how it pans out. I don't have to worry about selecting the first competition game team until late in February."

Cheika said he’s pleased to have welcomed back all his Wallabies in good health but said Springbok loose forward Jacques Potgieter is yet to join the squad from Japan.

"He keeps texting me every week, he wants to know how it’s going," Cheika said.

"He's very eager to get here. I think he's only got one match left in Japan and then he'll be here, so I'm not worried about that."  

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10