Cheika on Folau: ‘It’s always full-back’

Date published: November 1 2016

Australia coach Michael Cheika believes Israel Folau's best position is at full-back despite the likelihood of Folau being deployed in the midfield.

With an injury to Samu Kerevi, Folau looks set for a shift to the outside centre spot, though he has spent time there this season in the Wallabies’ fluid defensive structure

When asked where Cheika felt Folau was best suited, he said the Waratahs selection was about where he could inflict the most damage in each Test.

"It's always full-back, for mine," Cheika told the official Australia rugby website.

"That doesn't mean that I can't, last week we played him up in the front line a bit as a different type of threat and then we could pull him back and do something different this week.

"The thing is it's not about what's his best position it's how he can play his best every game, because for us once we get out of the set piece we've got some very clear roles and no matter whether he was playing 13 or 15, his role would be the same after that anyway.

"So, I think it's nice for people to speculate over that, it creates interest in the game but at the end of the day it's more about him fulfilling and going beyond his potential."

Cheika said he hadn’t made a concrete call on who would replace Kerevi, but Folau was in contention.

"We've used him up there before in different times, even though he's wearing a 15," he said.

"Then of course you've got Kuridrani, who's well and truly experienced in that position too. We've got a few options there, we'll just see how the training week pans out and try a few different options today and tomorrow."