Folau close to AFL debut - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau close to AFL debut

Daniel Brettig 09/03/2011 05:43:47 PM Comments (0)

Rugby league convert Israel Folau is set to make his first AFL appearance for Greater Western Sydney against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Provided he recovers adequately from training on Wednesday, Folau will be pitched into action against the Power in the practice match at the Barossa Valley town of Willaston.

Folau's debut has been delayed as he underwent rehabilitation following ankle surgery.

Giants coach Kevin Sheedy said Folau would be tried in both attack and defence against the Power, where his high leaping and considerable speed will be useful.

"People ask where his best position is, I'm not quite sure yet but he will get down to fullback at some stage," he said.

"Folau will have real closing speed."

The ankle problem is the last remaining legacy of Folau's time at the Brisbane Broncos where he had established himself as among the brightest stars in the NRL before his show-stopping move to the Giants.

Most young footballers are given time in defence at some point in their education, with Sheedy saying it was the best place to learn the game.

"You will know what to do if you get back out there to play upfield (after playing in defence) because most of the time I spent in the back half you learned who was loafing, who was not helping and who I'm going to get on the training track and smash," Sheedy said.

"And that's the sort of stuff you need.

"You really learn what is required and find out how much you need to help your defence."

The under-age Giants have suffered hefty defeats so far in their pre-season matches but Sheedy argued that improvement was noticeable already.

"The witches hats are starting to move around," he said.

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