Israel Folau believes his former rugby league teammate Jarryd Hayne would do well in the 15-a-side game and potentially be a great boost to his NSW Waratahs.
The former San Francisco 49er, who is currently trying to make Fiji’s Olympic rugby sevens squad, has yet to decide which code and where he will play in 2017.
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said last week he would definitely be interested in signing Hayne to the Super Rugby side.
Folau and Hayne played one league Test together – they were both on the wing for Australia against New Zealand in 2007.
“I certainly think if he was to come and play a 15-man code he would do quite well,” Folau said.
“He’s naturally talented to pick up the game.
“I’m here playing (in the Waratahs) – it would be nice to get someone like Jarryd to come and join.
“I think it would be a great boost for the team, no doubt.”
Gibson has recalled veteran No.8 Wycliff Palu to the side for Saturday’s must-win home clash with the Hurricanes.
Palu has recovered from a shoulder injury, so Dave Dennis switches from No.8 to lock, Dean Mumm from the second row to blindside flanker and Jack Dempsey drops to the bench.
In the backs, Nick Phipps returns in place of Matt Lucas and Matt Carraro replaces Reece Robinson on the wing.
Folau said the forwards would be the key to the game.
“They’ve got to lay a platform for us as backs,” Folau said.
“We’ve got to match them up front physically. It’s going to be a huge battle there.”
Folau will continue at outside centre and has no qualms about switching between that role and his Test position of fullback.
He said while it would be nice to have the same position at both levels, he enjoyed both roles.
“Attacking at 13 and then if I defend at the back at 15, you get the chance to get on attack straight away,” Folau said.
“I obviously enjoying playing 13 attacking a lot closer to the ball, but playing fullback is a great opportunity to attack as well, receiving all those kicks. I enjoy playing both.”
Waratahs team: Andrew Kellaway, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Israel Folau, Rob Horne, Matt Carraro, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper (capt), Dean Mumm, Will Skelton, David Dennis, Tom Robertson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Paddy Ryan. Res: Hugh Roach, Jeremy Tilse, Angus Taavao, Sam Lousi, Jack Dempsey, Matt Lucas, David Horwitz, Reece Robinson.