Folau the centre of Broncos' attention - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau the centre of Broncos' attention

By Wayne Heming 17/02/2009 06:57:30 PM Comments (0)

Prized signing Israel Folau has got his wish with coach Ivan Henjak naming the young try-scoring genius in the centres for his debut for Brisbane in Saturday night's pre-season trial with Canberra at Redcliffe.

Henjak has ramped things up for this weekend's trial after running a number of the club's promising youngsters in last weekend's 24-18 trial win against the Titans.

Young wingers Antonio Winterstein and Jharal Yow Yeh have retained their spots along with another exciting talent, Gerard Beale, who'll partner Folau in the centres.

Several of the club's big name players, headed by Karmichael Hunt, Sam Thaiday, who has been named captain, and Peter Wallace, will be back in action along with the freakish Folau.

With his 195cm frame and his NBA-like leaping ability, there was an early push for the 19 year-old to play on the end of Brisbane's classy backline.

Folau wants to play centre but has diplomatically said he'll fit in wherever his coach wants.

Despite notching 36 tries in 52 games for Melbourne and nine for Queensland and Australia, Folau is excited about turning out in front of his family in his first appearance for the Broncos.

"I'm pretty excited to play this week. It feels like I'm playing my first first-grade game. I'm excited to put on my first jersey for the Broncos," he said.

Folau isn't thinking about how many tries he could score playing in such a talented backline led by No.6 Darren Lockyer.

And he's not putting any added pressure on his young shoulders despite Brisbane fans expecting him to destroy opposition teams.

"I don't want to think about what the expectations are on me coming to Brisbane," he said.

"I just want to get all the little things right and hopefully please the people who are watching me play."

The strapping 19 year-old says he feels a lot more settled being back home with his family.

And he thinks he's stronger and faster - bad news for rivals trying to stop his progress this season.

His sprint times have quickened under the coaching of Dutch biomechanics expert Frans Bosch who has made subtle adjustments to his running style.

"I think I am (quicker), I'm not sure," said Folau.

"I've been doing some speed work over the last couple of weeks with Dean (high performance manager Dean Benton) and I feel pretty good about myself.

"I just want to go out there and work on the things we've been working on in the off season to try and get it right for round one."

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