Folau wants smarter Wallabies

Date published: August 18 2016

Australia full-back Israel Folau wants his team to play smarter rugby when they take on New Zealand in their opening Rugby Championship game.

Folau was part of the Wallabies team that lost 3-0 to England on home soil in a recent June series, which left them a wounded animal.

But they have the chance to hit back when they face the All Blacks in Sydney on Saturday and the lethal back is determined to do so.

"I think back to the England series and we didn’t play smart enough," he said in his column for Fox Sports, adding they need to improve.

"We didn’t make the right decisions when we needed to during the games, and we didn’t help ourselves by giving away too many penalties.

"The onus is more on the playmakers to make those right decisions and to be smart when we have to, because I think our natural style of play is to want to attack and want to run the ball, but at times I think we just have to be a bit smarter and play field position.

"You can expect a bit more variety in the game.

"When it is time to run and have a crack we will do that, otherwise I think you will find we will play a lot smarter than we have been."

Helping the Wallabies in their quest to improve has been the return from Europe of experienced trio Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Will Genia, who all start on Saturday.

"It's been great to have the guys from France come back," Folau said.

"Will Genia, Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Quade Cooper — they’ve brought a lot of energy back into the group and that’s been huge.

"Those guys have been around the game for so long, and their experience under pressure is so important and vital to the team.

"It gives you a lot of confidence that they will make the right decisions under adversity."