Folau urges Waratahs to play with freedom

Israel Folau has warned teammates a do-or-die mindset will be the NSW Waratahs’ undoing in Friday night’s must-win Super Rugby clash with the front-running Chiefs.

The Waratahs likely need to win their last four games to secure a finals berth, but Folau says thinking like that will only add to the pressure at Allianz Stadium.

“We know what position we’re in terms of where we’re sitting in the competition,” Folau said on Tuesday.

“So I think we can put that on the back seat and focus on our game and the way we want to play and just go out there and try and play some footy and hopefully that will be enough to get us the win.”

With the Waratahs still coming to terms with life without midfield playmaker Kurtley Beale, coach Daryl Gibson toyed with the idea of moving Folau closer to the action at inside centre.

But the attacking ace is happy to stay put at outside centre after once again being the Waratahs’ shining light in the No.13 jumper in last Friday’s 29-10 loss to the Crusaders.

“I’ve been comfortable at 13,” Folau said.

“We’ve got a few guys in the squad that can obviously fill that 12 position and for me I’m probably just going out there to play the best I can.

“A couple of times I lined up at 12 (against the Crusaders) and shifted out late to 13 so it’s just a more of a deception thing at the time.

“It wasn’t part of the game plan. I was trying different things throughout the game and it seemed to work at the time.”

A two-times John Eales Medallist as Australia’s premier player, Folau said the more insight he could garner in different positions the better.

“It’s just about trying to expand my game and whether that’s off set piece or multi phase, it’s something that I’m looking to try to do and I’ve been happy with how the experiment’s been going,” he said after making the successful transition from fullback this year.

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