Planet Rugby

Folau set to thrill for Wallabies

04th October 2013 06:31


Israel Folau Wallabies training CT RC 2013

Ready to attack: Israel Folau

Australia's full-back Israel Folau has been given a license to thrill when his side faces Argentina in Rosario on Saturday.

This is part of the Wallabies' strategy to avoid the humiliation of becoming Rugby Championship wooden spoonists.

Australia have just four points and hosts Argentina two going into the final fixture of the tournament.

Whoever wins at the 42,000-seat Estadio Gigante de Arroyito finishes third in a competition completed by New Zealand and South Africa, who clash earlier Saturday in a title decider.

Argentina coach Santiago Phelan hopes his pack can lay the foundations for a first Championship victory after one draw and 10 losses during two seasons since debuting.

But Australia coach Ewen McKenzie has had a tactical change of heart and wants Folau and other backs to try and run the home side off their feet in Rosario.

McKenzie opted for a predominantly field-kicking approach against South Africa last weekend with disastrous consequences as his team turned over 20 points behind and lost by the same margin.

Amid increasing frustration after a fourth defeat in five outings since replacing New Zealander Robbie Deans in mid-year, the Wallabies handler has made a significant change.

Out goes kick-biased scrum-half Nic White and back comes former skipper Will Genia, signalling the adventurous intent of the visitors.

Folau, scorer of the lone Australian try in a dour 14-13 home win over Argentina last month, is excited at the prospect of more ball-in-hand time.

"I thought we were a lot better in the second half against the Springboks when we started to run the ball," he told reporters.

"The issue is finding the right balance - running when the opportunity arises and kicking for field position when necessary.

"I must try and react to what the opposition presents. I believe that is the best way to play rugby - playing what happens in front of you.

"We have got some great players in our team who can score tries and finish good movements."

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1New Zealand622
2South Africa619