IS­RAEL RECK­ONS GITS IS A LOCKY- IN

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

CODE-CO HOP­PING Wal­laby Is­rael Fo­lau be­lieves it is more than just Matt Giteau’s close­cropped hair­cut that re­minds him of rugby league leg­end Dar­ren Lock­yer.

Giteau ( above) is hop­ing to re­vive his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer in Aus­tralia’s open­ing Test of the Rugby Cham­pi­onship Test against South Africa in Bris­bane on Satur­day night.

The 32- year- old has not played for the Wal­la­bies since 2011 when he left to play for French club Toulon but is back with the squad be­cause of new Aus­tralian Rugby Union ( ARU) el­i­gi­bil­ity rules for over­seas- based play­ers.

This week’s camp in Bris­bane has been Fo­lau’s first ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with the vet­eran play­maker.

He said there was plenty about Giteau that re­sem­bled the ap­proach of ex- Aus­tralian, Queens­land State of Ori­gin and Bris­bane skip­per Lock­yer.

“Gits is a very pro­fes­sional player both on and off the field and that’s what I’ve found,” Fo­lau said.

“I’m grate­ful to have the op­por­tu­nity to train with a guy like ‘ Gits’, who’s been around the game for a long time with his ex­pe­ri­ence, and prob­a­bly re­minds me a lit­tle bit of the way he goes about his work with Lock­yer from my time play­ing with him at the Bron­cos.’’

Fo­lau will get another league flash­back on Satur­day when he runs out at Sun­corp Sta­dium, where he played twice for the Kan­ga­roos.

The 26- year- old’s last two of eight league Tests were played at the venue – a 34- 20 loss to New Zealand in the 2008 World Cup fi­nal and a 38- 10 one- off Test vic­tory over the Ki­wis the next year.

Fo­lau has made four of his 29 Wal­la­bies ap­pear­ances in Bris­bane, los­ing three.

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