Israel Folau’s decision to code-hop a third time and leave the AFL for Super Rugby looks to have been a great one.
Folau starred in a Super Rugby trial match for the NSW Waratahs, scoring two tries in a 24-16 win over the Melbourne Reds in Hobart.
After what was ultimately a failed two-year stint in the AFL, Folau started at fullback and dominated the game under coach Michael Cheika's aggressive style of play.
He gathered a loose ball then beat three defenders to score in the 12th minute before scoring again on the last play of the match after moving to outside centre.
At just 23 years of age, Folau is onto his third professional sport, but looks like the transition from NRL to union will be a successful one.
“I felt really comfortable to be quite honest,” said Folau.
“It's like I never left a game like rugby.
“I felt really relaxed throughout the day and that's the way I felt coming into the game.”
Cheika was also pleased with the new recruit.
“Positionally (at fullback) he was probably in much better sync than I thought he might be,” Cheika said.
“Obviously his natural talent showed on a couple of occasions very well and I think he looked pretty comfortable really.
“All he has to do is enjoy himself and make our team and his talent will do the rest from there.”
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was one of the spectators and he too liked what he saw.
"I don't want to talk about individual cases, but he's obviously playing very well," Deans said. "It's good to see him playing rugby."
Folau still has some adjusting to do- the rules of the game weren’t always apparent to the Waratahs’ new star. He was given a yellow card for a ruck infringement and walked back to position not knowing he had been sin-binned.
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