Koroibete keeps expectations in check

Date published: October 28 2016

Rookie Australia winger Marika Koroibete does not expect to make his debut for the Wallabies on their November tour.

The former NRL star was a surprise selection by coach Michael Cheika since he is yet to make his Super Rugby debut. Koroibete signed with the Melbourne Rebels for the 2017 competition.

However, Wallaby assistant coach Stephen Larkham believes Koroibete can follow the same path Matt Giteau did 14 years ago.

Koroibete said he was not expecting to get game time but was motivated to prove his worth.

“I don’t know mate,” said Koroibete when asked if he thought he would get a game. “I want to impress the coaching staff and go from there. When I grew up in Fiji I always wanted to play Super Rugby. (I want to) prove some people wrong and train as hard as I can and play good games of Super Rugby. It’s very hard coming from NRL to the Wallabies. I haven’t played a game since high school, it’s going to be a big challenge for me.”

Larkham, Australia’s attack coach, is keen to see the speedy winger in action when the team lands in London. Larkham referenced Giteau’s debut in 2002 without playing Super Rugby as an example of a player getting picked without the necessary experience.

“Remember, Matt Giteau came out of club rugby and played on the tour and he turned into one of the greats of the game, so I think the challenge for Marika first will be to fit into the structure we have,” Larkham said.

“He’s certainly got that background of rugby union. It’s not much different when you’re playing on the wing in rugby league to rugby union.”