Rugby: Wallabies braced for All Blacks bomb barrage, says Folau

Israel Folau in action against England at AAMI Park in Melbourne earlier this year. Photo / Photosport
Israel Folau in action against England at AAMI Park in Melbourne earlier this year. Photo / Photosport

Catch first, think later.

That is the mantra Israel Folau has adopted as he braces for a barrage of bombs from the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup Test on Saturday.

The Wallabies superstar is set to be named at fullback despite playing outside centre for the Waratahs this year, and with the All Blacks having successfully targeted Folau in previous encounters by putting up high balls and swarming him with defenders so he is not a threat in counter-attack.

But Folau says his only concern is doing the job he is the world's best at; catching the high ball.

"You can't really do much if the kicks are pinpoint accurate," Folau said.

"My job during that time is obviously to catch the ball and after that, if it is a good kick, they get time to get defenders right on you.

My first job is to catch the ball, and I think about what I can do after that.

"They have some great kickers in their team, right from the base there with Aaron Smith. It's going to be a tough job for the guys at the back."

Folau has won a host of trophies in his league and union careers, but remains exasperated at never having won a Bledisloe series like the rest of his teammates.

"It hurts a lot, it gives us a bit more motivation to want to go out there and give everything that we have, not only for the team, but for the rest of the country," Folau said.

"It's always a proud moment to pull on the Wallaby jersey, but you want to go out there and leave it all out there."

Folau reiterated that it is the All Blacks, not the Wallabies, who will be under all the pressure in this Test having held the Bledisloe Cup for 13 consecutive years.

"We're the underdog, there's no pressure at all from our end," Folau said. "You don't think about how long it has been.

"We just go out there and try to execute the job and do what we can, but most guys are very excited.

"The boys have been working hard and digging in deep.

"I don't think anyone is really giving us a chance. That's all right with us.

"Its something we can't control. As a playing group you just go about doing your own work and we are worried about our own business."

- news.com.au

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