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Folau 'can make Wallabies'

Date

Chris Dutton

Waratahs Super Rugby recruit Israel Folau.

Waratahs Super Rugby recruit Israel Folau. Photo: Mark Kolbe

Joseph Tomane is proof NRL converts can make a rapid rise through the rugby ranks and the ACT Brumbies star has backed Israel Folau to follow his journey to the Wallabies.

Just 12 months after joining the Brumbies, Tomane capped off a superb debut season by winning the Rugby Union Players Association newcomer of the year prize at a function in Sydney on Wednesday.

Despite initially planning to play only a support role at the Brumbies in his first Super Rugby season, Tomane established himself as an exciting winger and was rewarded with his first Test cap in June.

ACT Brumby Joseph Tomane during his Melbourne Storm days.

ACT Brumby Joseph Tomane during his Melbourne Storm days.

Now Folau is trying to follow in his footsteps after turning his back on a lucrative AFL deal and a chance to play in the NRL for Parramatta to instead play Super Rugby.

Folau will line up for the NSW Waratahs next season in a major coup for the club.

Folau was already a rugby league star when Tomane joined him at Melbourne.

Their careers took different paths, but five years on the pair will likely go head-to-head when the Brumbies play the Waratahs in Canberra on March 9 and, form pending, compete for a spot in the Wallabies.

''I just hope if he does start on the wing that he's on the opposite side to me,'' Tomane joked after catching up with Folau yesterday.

''He will be a huge asset to the game, he'll put bums on seats wherever he goes. He's the complete athlete, now he'll have the engine to play Super Rugby and he's already got the God-given talent and skill. He can definitely [make the Wallabies next year], but hopefully it's in the centres and not on the wing.''

Tomane's advantage in his first season with the Brumbies was that he had the experience of being a schoolboy rugby star growing up in Queensland.

He pursued his rugby league goals with the Storm and Gold Coast Titans before deciding to cross codes to the Brumbies was the best move to revive his career.

But even after being in the Australian Schoolboy rugby team, a humble Tomane believed his first season with the Brumbies would be a development campaign.

His initial goal was to earn a place on the bench by the end of the season. However, it took only a few weeks for coach Jake White to inject the powerful winger into his starting XV and Tomane had an immediate impact.

What was supposed to be a year of learning rapidly turned into a season of triumph for the 22-year-old.

He impressed Wallabies coach Robbie Deans enough to earn his first Test cap against Scotland, but just when he appeared on the cusp of regular selection, an ankle injury cut his year short.

Tomane made a comeback in the Brumbies' last game and had hoped for a Rugby Championship and spring tour spot. But he re-injured himself and missed the opportunity.

The good news is Tomane believes he can be even better in his second Super Rugby campaign.

In his first season he won the Brumbies' and Australian Super Rugby rookie of the year awards and completed the trifecta with the RUPA gong. Tomane beat Bernard Foley, Kyle Godwin and Cadeyrn Neville for the award.

''I guess I'm just really lucky and I'm very grateful, I thought the other nominees were better than me, to be honest,'' Tomane said. ''I'm still in shock that I've achieved as much as I have this year and I'm hoping I can continue to do more and more in the future because I know the better I do the better it will be for the team.

''I only had a short time to learn the game. I'm still a little bit raw so hopefully I can transfer my first year of knowledge and improve next season.''

Fellow Brumby Pat McCabe, who is recovering from a neck injury, won the academic achievement award for fast-tracking his law degree.

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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