Tuqiri advising Folau on switch

 Jan 02,2013
Written by: Editor

New Waratahs recruit Israel Folau has talked with former Wallaby Lote Tuqiri about adapting to rugby union and dealing with the pressures of his much-publicised arrival in the game.

Tuqiri played for the Waratahs and Wallabies from 2002 to 2009 after representing the Kangaroos and the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL.

He returned to rugby league in 2010 to play for Wests Tigers after a brief stint with Leicester Tigers.

The dual international revealed that he has also offered any other advice which will help Folau settle in his new surroundings if the former AFL player needs it.

"I've spoken to him already. But the line is open and he knows that," Tuqiri told Fairfax Media.

Tuqiri feels Folau can succeed at the Waratahs and will soon play for the Wallabies.

But he believes Folau should settle into his likely starting position as a winger before considering a move to the midfield - and that full-back might be a better option before then.

Tuqiri, who represented the Wallabies in 67 Tests, also said adapting to the law interpretations of rugby union referees will be a challenge for Folau.

"He will be under a bit of pressure to perform again [as he was in AFL], but luckily he is probably a bit more well-versed in what is going on," he explained.

"He hasn't played rugby for a while, but I think he will make a transition easily.

"He will also have picked up a few skills from AFL that will serve him well in kicking. Hopefully, he has learnt to kick off both feet, because that will always be a string in your bow in rugby if he is to play in the back three.

"I think he will predominantly play on the wing, or I reckon he should from what I have seen. I don't think they should rush him into any other position for now.

"Keep him on the wing and start him there. If he is keen to move somewhere else, then I'll probably have a chat to him.

"He played centre at rugby league, but that is a hell of a lot different to playing centre in union.

"In league you have to stick to the one side of the field, whereas in rugby you are playing defence on both sides... you are playing attack on both sides... and you are changing now and then.

''He could even play full-back because he is good under the high ball. And if he has that kicking game down pat he could play that position as well.

"But I reckon he'll go really well on the wing and will be playing for the Wallabies in no time."

Tags: Super Rugby |  Waratahs | 

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