Cautious Folau holds Lions hope

Israel Folau would love to face the Lions this summer as he gets sets for his first season in rugby union. [more]

Cautious Folau holds Lions hope

Israel Folau would love to face the Lions this summer as he gets sets for his first season in rugby union.

The cross-code star switched from rugby league via Australian Rules Football to sign for the Waratahs at the end of last year and the likes of Wallaby greats George Gregan and Lote Tuqiri are already tipping him to earn an international call up sooner rather than later.

Folau is still yet to play his first game of senior union since his high-profile move but his ultimate aim is a spot in Robbie Deans’ Wallaby squad when Britain and Ireland’s elite come calling in June of this year.

The 23-year-old is realistic about his prospects of completing a remarkable rise in just four months of action, however, and he insists he’s only thinking one step at a time ahead of his side’s Super XV opener against the Reds on February 23.

“Everyone would love to be a part of that big (Lions) campaign, but my main focus is to try and get a spot in the team for the Waratahs first,” Folau told Australian reporters.

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“Hopefully if I am playing good rugby… we will see what happens. It would be nice to be a part of it, but I'm not looking that far ahead.

“I feel pretty good since I started on day one with all the skills and stuff. (But) my body took a bit of time getting used to all the contact. I have missed it for a couple of years, just trying to get my body used to the hits again. That probably took a couple of weeks.”

Folau shone as a wing then a centre during his time in the NRL but no decision has yet been made on where he will feature in the 15-man version of the sport.

Midfield may well be his long-term destination given his eye for a gap and his all-round skill set but he has spent his initial training sessions a little more detached from the action.

“I am pretty open minded to whatever position 'Cheik' (Waratahs boss Michael Cheika) wants me to play in the backline, but at the moment I have been training at wing and at fullback,” added Folau.

“I certainly feel comfortable in those positions. I guess it is a different story when it's time to play, but we will see how we go.

“The main thing for me… when I am really happy that transfers on to the field where I start to play good.”

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