ISRAEL RECKONS GITS IS A LOCKY- IN
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.