Give it to Izzy: Cheika
February 15, 2013
Israel Folau is making great strides for the Waratahs © Getty Images
NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika wants to ensure Israel Folau sees more ball, given the fullback's impact from limited opportunities in three trial matches since switching to his third football code.
Folau has scored three tries, and he goes into the Waratahs' season opener against Queensland Reds in round two on the back of a Man-of-the-Match performance in the 16-14 loss to the Crusaders in Sydney on Thursday night.
The fullback opened up the respected Crusaders' defence on a number of occasions with jinking runs, and also produced a burst to bump off big and well-regarded centre Robbie Fruean.
The former NRL star's every touch lifted the crowd and created an air of expectation and excitement not seen at a Waratahs game in some time.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder described the code-hopper as "a player with immense potential".
Cheika is thrilled with Folau's efforts in the trials, and now he wants to maximise the threat the player poses to opponents.
"He looked dangerous when he got the ball, which is really good," Cheika said.
"He had a few good counter-attacks.
"I think we've got to try to get him into the game a bit more from our set piece. We have to work out how to do that. We've got a few ideas on what we can do, but all in all his first three games have been very positive for his entry into rugby, I'd say. I think everyone would agree."
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