Izzy a big chance after pulling up well - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Izzy a big chance after pulling up well

By Wayne Heming 26/08/2009 07:50:59 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak believes modest youngster Israel Folau will bring added presence to his NRL side if cleared to return from injury for Friday night's clash with North Queensland in Townsville.

Folau reportedly pulled up without any problems after his first run on Tuesday on the ankle he fractured six weeks ago.

Provided he gets through Thursday morning's session he will take his place in the centres alongside side fellow international Justin Hodges.

With Brisbane climbing out of a 1-8 form slump to win their past three games, including a last start upset over ladder leaders St George Illawarra, Folau's return just before the finals would lift confidence levels even higher.

"Although he's only 20, he gives everyone a bit of confidence when he's out there," acknowledged Henjak.

"He's very shy and very humble but he's got a presence about him.

"The players respect him and they know what he can do."

Henjak said Folau arrived at the Broncos from Melbourne Storm with some really good habits and had been wonderful to coach.

"I think he feels a lot more comfortable in the place than when he first got here," said Henjak, who's feeling more comfortable himself after a tough few months during the State of Origin series.

"He's starting to feel he belongs. It was always going to take a little bit of time for someone with his personality.

"When he first came here I think he saw himself as being down the bottom.

"I think that's a nice thing because that is who he is.

"I like that about him. I like that he is still really humble, that he still feels uncomfortable with all the fame and where people perceive him to be.

"I think that's a real good quality."

Henjak said Folau was an excellent listener who did whatever was asked of him.

"You never have to chip him about anything. His preparation and everything is always spot on."

If Folau fails to come up at training on Thursday morning another promising youngster Alex Glenn could be recalled after Ben Te'o and Dave Taylor shared the centre role against the Dragons last weekend.

Henjak said the Taylor gamble, playing the 115kg prop in an attacking role worked well, but Glenn was probably a more likely option.

"I wouldn't call it a masterstroke, Dave had been playing wide and likes to get out there and Ben has defended in the centres before swapping with Alex.

"Locky (Darren Lockyer) came up with the idea along with Dave and fortunately it worked."

The Cowboys have some dramas with fullback Matt Bowen (knee) ruled out of the local derby clash with will be Brisbane forward Sam Thaiday's 100th premiership game.

A loss will end their faint hopes of scraping into the eight after they a blew a 16-point lead against Newcastle last weekend in a game they had to win.

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