Bernard Foley says Wallabies fullback Israel Folau would excel at outside centre.
Bernard Foley says Wallabies fullback Israel Folau would excel at outside centre.

Foley backs Folau for Bledisloe positional change

WALLABIES five-eighth Bernard Foley believes Israel Folau could be a quality long-term outside centre and a potential contender for that jersey in this month's Bledisloe Cup matches.

Injuries to Samu Kerevi and Tevita Kuridrani have left Wallabies coach Michael Cheika short of options for the No.13 jersey.

Waratah Curtis Rona and Rebels utility back Reece Hodge could be considered and earlier this month Cheika didn't rule out trying Folau at outside centre, though he prefers him in his established role of fullback.

Folau played several games at outside centre for the Waratahs in 2016 and 17 and acting Tahs skipper Foley has no doubt the gifted back could do the job at Test level.

"I think he's a phenomenal player wherever he plays, he's a big body and he's a guy who can get us across the gain line there,' Foley said.

"I'm sure there will be a number of different scenarios thrown up (for the Bledisloe Tests) and Izzy there is definitely a threat and he's a possibility."

"I think naturally he could be a really good long term 13."

Israel Folau would be a danger in the centres. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Israel Folau would be a danger in the centres. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Like Folau, Foley has yet to agree to a new contract with Rugby Australia and the Waratahs.

He suggested a decision was imminent.

"My focus has been on the Waratahs and now it (Super Rugby) is over, the focus moves straight on to the Bledisloe Cup," Foley said.

"Something like that (contract) will definitely be done soon."

Foley and several other Waratahs will enter the Wallabies camp in the coming days following a brief break after last week's Super Rugby semi-final in Johannesburg.

Foley won't play in Friday's trial match in Sydney, but believes the fixture will help Australia hit the ground running in the first Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney on August 18.

"Talking with the coaches the past couple of years, that first half of the Bledisloe is sort of where we've missed the jump a little bit and that's maybe due to game time, guys not having played for three or four weeks," he said.


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