Australia v France, 2nd Test
Fofana: Folau natural rugby star
ESPN Staff
June 14, 2014
France's Wesley Fofana and Hugo Bonneval arrive at Brisbane International Airport, Brisbane, May 29, 2014
Fofana is excited to be play alongside Bastareaud for the second Test © Getty Images

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau may have played four years in the NRL, for Queensland in State of Origin, and eight Tests for the Kangaroos, but French inside centre Wesley Fofana believes Folau has made such a smooth transition to union, it seems he has been playing the 15-a-side game all his life.

Fofana, 26, said he didn't need to play against Folau last weekend to discover the 25-year-old's skill - he was already convinced after watching him on video beforehand.

"Before playing him, we all watched a number of his games," Fofana told Fairfax Media. "I knew straight away that he is a great player, especially for his age. He was exactly what we expected: a player who plays with his strengths - his pace, power and technique.

"I can't see anything in his game that shows he is from league. It is as if he has always been playing union. He knows hot fill the gaps He knows where to attack and where to run, and when I watch league it's not the same."

Meanwhile, Fofana is excited to start the second Test - his 26th Test - with Mathieu Bastareaud by his side. One of ten changes to the French side, Bastareaud will move into the outside centre role and Fofana says Bastareaud, who missed selection for the first Test to recover from Toulon's victorious Heineken Cup and Top 14 campaigns, should add a lot of potency to the French attack.

"It will give extra strength, extra aggression and also there is a point go [his] freshness," Fofana said. "we have also known each other for a long time. We played together in under-16s. I understand his game and he understand my game."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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