I am more effective at No.15: Folau

I am more effective at No.15: Folau

His heart says outside centre is his preferred position.

But Israel Folau’s head tells him he should be picked at fullback for the Wallabies in Saturday’s opening Test against England in Brisbane.

Folau claimed he had no idea where he would be named when Wallabies coach Michael Cheika unveils his first Test team on Thursday.

The code-hopper has been tipped by the likes of Kurtley Beale to make the switch from fullback to the centres after an impressive Super Rugby transition to No.13 for the NSW Waratahs.

Folau said he even told Cheika he preferred playing outside centre during the Wallabies camp.

However, incumbent Wallabies fullback Folau admitted a switch to the centres against England would be a huge step up.

“He (Cheika) asked me where I prefer to play,” Folau said on Wednesday night.

“I have made it clear I have really enjoyed the shift to outside centre for the Waratahs.

“But representing Australia is another level.”

Asked if he felt he could contribute more at No.15, Folau said: “I think I can.

“It’s a personal thing.

“I can get my hands more on the ball and find those opportunities in the game and link up with our playmakers.”

The Wallabies’ midfield looms as Cheika’s biggest conundrum ahead of Thursday’s announcement.

Cheika is believed to be sticking with incumbent No.13 Tevita Kuridrani.

That left Folau, Samu Kerevi and Karmichael Hunt as contenders for the No.12 jersey with World Cup choice Matt Giteau absent, Beale injured and Christian Lealiifano a late arrival due to the birth of his first child.

“I think they should throw Izzy in there (at No.12),” Beale told the Fox Sports website.

“He’s a great ballplayer. He’s got really good vision.”

England have made it clear they will target Folau if he starts in the centres.

Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey said Folau is up for the challenge.

“He is comfortable in that front line,” he said.

Folau vowed not to let Cheika down in whatever jersey he was handed.

“Whatever position, even outside centre, I will back myself to go out and do the job,” he said.

“I have always been a confident person.”

Speculation is rife Cheika will team up Kerevi with Kuridrani in a big-bodied centre combination that would blunt an anticipated England debut by former NRL player Ben Te’o.

Folau said until the Thursday announcement everyone – including the players – would be in the dark.

“At this stage I don’t have a clue where I am playing – I am training in all sorts of positions,” he said.

“Chek has been keeping me on my toes.”

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