‘Folau will make me better’ – Kuridrani

Date published: April 20 2016

Brumbies midfielder Tevita Kuridrani believes that Waratahs full-back Israel Folau's positional switch, from full-back to outside centre, will help him to improve his game.

Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson named Folau and Kurtley Beale as the centre pairing in the Australian derby against the Brumbies in Sydney last weekend, with the latter outclassing their opponents 26-20 in the end.

Despite being on the losing side, the code hopping Folau made a huge impact in the midfield against his Wallaby team-mate Kuridrani. 

The 27-year-old scored one of the two Waratahs' tries and in the process he equalled Lote Tuqiri's try scoring record of 29 for the Sydneysiders.

Kuridrani admitted that Folau not only brought out the best in him, but also help him to improve his overall performance in a bid to retain his Wallaby number thirteen spot.

"It was good to go up against Izzy, it was very challenging for me to play him at outside centre," Kuridrani told the Sydney Morning Herald. 

"He's a very talented guy, anywhere you put him on the field he'll always play well. 

"Even before he played number 13 it was always a challenge for me to play better every week.

"A big thing for me is to keep improving and getting better, regardless of who's there as well."

Kuridrani has no intentions of slowing down as Australia are set to host the Grand Slam winning Six Nations champions, England, in the June International Test series.

"I'll never relax and think I've got the jersey," he said.

"But having someone like Izzy really does have you on your toes and I do think it will help me get better."

Kuridrani has now turned his attention to this week's clash against the Crusaders, who he has never beaten, and he hopes his side can continue their fine recent form by putting the seven-time champions to sword.

"It's going to be a massive match, I haven't beaten the Crusaders in my Super Rugby career," added the 25-year-old.

"It was good to beat the Waratahs last weekend so hopefully we can continue that momentum. It's going to be a big week."