Australia 21-23 British & Irish Lions, Brisbane
Israul Folau 'freak' who can 'do crazy things'
June 23, 2013
Result aside, Israel Folau made a perfect Test debut © Getty Images
The thought of donning Australia's No.15 jumper for the second Tom Richards Cup Test against the British & Irish Lions has not occurred to Israel Folau. Then again, he is still getting his head around the fact he is wearing the Wallabies colours in the first place.
Folau capped one of the great Wallabies debuts with a two-try celebration from the wing, but he must have felt like the last man standing by full-time with five backline players injured as the tourists held on for a 23-21 victory at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday night. And those injuries see Folau in the frame for the fullback job after colliding with Berrick Barnes in an incident that saw the incumbent No.15 leave the pitch with a jaw injury and concussion, joining debutant centre Christian Lealiifano, Pat McCabe, Adam Ashley-Cooper and winger Digby Ioane in the casualty ward. "We will consider everything. I can assure you he will have a jersey on," Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said of Folau's fullback prospects.
Folau, Australia's 47th dual international, has played all but one of his 14 Super Rugby games for New South Wales Waratahs at fullback, but he was non-committal when asked about wearing the No.15 jumper in the second Test at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on Saturday.
"I am not sure. Hopefully Berrick will be alright. Plus Kurtley Beale is there, too. It's up to Robbie and the coaching staff, really. Personally I am just stoked about being in the team. Hopefully I can help get them a win in Melbourne."
The Wallabies suffered an horrendous injury toll (video available only in Australia)%]
Folau needed just 13 minutes to score his first Test try, and he had a double by the 35th minute to equal the mark of Daniel Herbert and Joe Roff for most tries by a Wallabies player in a Lions Test. He also denied George North a first-half try in the left corner.
"He can do crazy things," Wallabies five-eighth James O'Connor said of Folau. "Hopefully we can give him some more ball [in the second Test]." Halfback Will Genia said: "He's an absolute freak. We talked him up all week and he came out and proved it. He's a big-game player, he's used to playing on the big stage and he delivered. We are lucky he is on our side."