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Reds hatching a plan to keep Folau under control

Israel Folau has been tipped to make a big impact in his first season

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Article Published: Wednesday 16 January 2013|

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has already started formulating plans for this season to count the new Waratahs signing Israel Folau who has been tipped to make a big impact in his maiden season.

The former NRL Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos and AFL's GWS Giants player will make his debut next month in Super Rugby making Rugby Union his third code of sport.

The twenty-three-year-old Folau has an unusual amount of experience for a young player but will need to get used to playing rugby union quickly if he is to be as big of a success as he was in other codes.

Folau is tall, strong and althletic which is a recipe for success in Rugby and in League he was a proven finisher, scoring a remarkable 73 tries in four seasons.

In his time with the Brisbane Broncos at Red Hill he had an extraordinary strike rate for scoring tries at almost a try a game having score 37 tries in 38 games.

One of Folau's talents was his ability in the air that took the attacking cross-kick to a new level in league and when he was at his best he seemed almost unstoppable on the wing.

The Reds will have to play the Waratahs twice this season and if they both reach the finals Folau could be playing against the Queenslanders three times in 2013 so McKenzie has been researching how to keep Folau under control.

McKenzie said that he has been keeping a close eye on the Waratahs pre-season preparation and the players have been communicating the goings-on in Sydney.

"I've been reading about the Tahs every day," the Reds coach told Rugby Heaven.

"They've been keeping us well informed. We know well and truly what they are up to. "

"They'll find a way to use him. It will be interesting to see if he appears in their first official game. He's a good player. I'm sure he'll be there or thereabouts."

McKenzie added that he will be keeping a close eye on Folau and the Tahs during trial games in order to see where the outside-back is played.

"We'll have a look at the trial games and see where he goes. You expect they've made an investment there and they will want to use him."

Meanwhile the Reds coach revealed that they will start the pre-season with all of their players available except for Wallabies halfback Will Genia who is still on a rehabilitation course following knee reconstruction.

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