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Tuqiri advises Folau on switch

"I reckon [Folau] will be playing for the wallabies in no time" ... Lote Tuqiri.

"I reckon [Folau] will be playing for the wallabies in no time" ... Lote Tuqiri. Photo: Peter Stoop

DUAL international Lote Tuqiri has counselled Waratahs recruit Israel Folau about adapting to rugby and handling the pressures of being a high-profile arrival to the game.

Tuqiri, who left the Brisbane Broncos to play for the Waratahs and Wallabies from 2002 to 2009 before returning to the NRL to play for Wests Tigers, spoke to Folau last week. The veteran of 67 rugby Tests knows about being under public scrutiny as a code-switcher. Tuqiri has also offered to be on call for Folau - who joined rugby after two years in the AFL - for advice should he need it as he settles into his career in rugby union.

''I've spoken to him already. But the line is open and he knows that,'' Tuqiri told Fairfax Media. He believes Folau has the credentials to succeed in rugby and will soon become a Wallaby. But his view is that Folau should settle in to his likely starting position as a winger before considering any switch to the centres - and that fullback might be a better option before then.

Tuqiri said a challenge for Folau would be adapting to law interpretations of by rugby referees. ''He will be under a bit of pressure to perform again [as he was in AFL], but luckily he is probably a bit more well versed in what is going on. He hasn't played rugby for a while, but I think he will make a transition easily. He will also have picked up a few skills from AFL that will serve him well in kicking.

''Hopefully, he has learned to kick off both feet, because that will always be a string in your bow in rugby if he is to play in the back three. I think he will predominantly play on the wing, or I reckon he should, from what I have seen. I don't think they should rush him into any other position for now. Keep him on the wing and start him there. If he is keen to move somewhere else then I'll probably have a chat to him.

''He played centre at rugby league, but that is a hell of a lot different to playing centre in union. In league you have to stick to the one side of the field, whereas in rugby you are playing defence on both sides … you are playing attack on both sides … and you are changing now and then.

''He could even play fullback because he is good under the high ball. And if he has that kicking game down pat, he could play that position as well. But I reckon he'll go really well on the wing and will be playing for the Wallabies in no time.''

However, to get the best of Folau, Tuqiri said it was vital the Waratahs played an expansive game, although Tuqiri said there were strong signs that would be the case under new NSW coach Michael Cheika.

''They will be a tough team if they are anything like what I have heard - where they play tough up front and throw the ball around the backs,'' Tuqiri said. ''That's where he will get a bit of ball to show what he can do with the footy.''

However, Tuqiri warned that the refereeing in rugby could be difficult for Folau when ''there are so many varying interpretations of the law - and with Australian, New Zealand and South African referees in Super Rugby, and if he plays Test matches, different interpretations again.''

Tuqiri said he would ''would love to see'' Folau play league again, but saw a future for him in rugby that would last well beyond his one-year contract at NSW. ''A happy athlete will give only their best game. And if he is happy there, he will hang around.''

One thing Tuqiri believes Folau should not underestimate is the opportunity of playing Sevens rugby for Australia at the 2014 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Tuqiri, who played Sevens for Australia at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, said: ''To have a chance to be a part of it would be unbelievable. Being at an opening ceremony in the athletes village and everything else was one of my treasured experiences of playing rugby.''

Meanwhile, Tuqiri said he was optimistic about ''nutting out'' his contract with Wests Tigers soon - he is yet to sign a deal for this year but is hopeful of resolving the issue in the near future.

Twitter - @rupertguinness

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs WAL 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs FRA 0 06:00MilS
IRE 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 0vs SCO 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 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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