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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 -1vs FJI -1 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 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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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