Rugby Championship News

Folau : There is no pressure on the Wallabies




Wallabies and Waratahs star Israel Folau admits that Australia could be a little rusty in their Rugby Championship – Bledisloe Cup clash but the pressure is more on the All Blacks.

Australian fullback Folau says that no one has given the Wallabies a chance this weekend against the All Blacks so there is “no pressure at all from our end.”

Folau has not played since the Waratahs Super Rugby match against Blues in Auckland on July 15 but the gap in playing has also seen the Wallabies training together for the best part of a month.

The Brumbies were the only Australian team to reach the Super Rugby play offs so by this time last month the other four teams had finished their Super Rugby campaigns.

Canberra’s Brumbies were then eliminated after one round of the play offs by the Highlanders while the bulk of the All Blacks continued through the play offs with teams being eliminated week by week.

While the Wallabies have been together for longer than the All Blacks Folau says there could be some rustiness as they are lacking in match fitness and this could impact on the Wallabies chances of winning back the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.

“There could be yeah and that’s the way it is when you haven’t played footy for a bit of time,” said Folau.

“The guys know that there’s never a perfect game, training is never perfect as well so we expect to make mistakes but hopefully we go out there and put our best foot forward.”

Earlier this week Wallabies winger Rob Horne said that the pressure was on New Zealand rather than the Wallabies. Folau agreed and said that the team would benefit from having such little expectation.

“We’re probably the underdog so there’s no pressure at all from our end,” Folau told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Even as players you don’t think about how long it’s been so we will just go out there and try and execute the job and do what we can.

“I don’t think anyone’s really given us a chance but that’s alright with us, it’s something we can’t control as a team.”

“It hurts a lot. It gives us a bit more motivation to want to go out there and give everything that we have not only for the team but for the rest of the country.

“It (being underdogs) works for some guys and others it doesn’t really bother them so everyone has a different preparation or the way they look at the game. For most guys it could work in their favour.”

Meanwhile even though Folau played the latter half of the Super Rugby season at outside centre Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has indicated that he wants to keep the 27-year-old at fullback.

Folau says that he is happy to play anywhere in the Wallabies backline.

“I don’t really mind, having that time at 13 with the Tahs really made me a bit more comfortable, so wherever ‘Cheik’ goes in terms of positioning, I’m more than comfortable to fill in either spot,” Folau said.

“If it is fullback then I’m happy to be playing there. It’s obviously a position that I’m very familiar with and I’ll go out there and give it my all for the team and that’s what it’s all about for me.”

The Wallabies have lost their last four matches and the bookies have the Wallabies at 6.00 to win the Rugby Championship.

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