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Tuqiri's rugby warning for Folau

Former Test star Lote Tuqiri has warned Israel Folau to get used to not seeing much of the ball for the Wallabies.
Tuqiri's rugby warning for Folau
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Aug 26 AAP - Former Test star Lote Tuqiri has warned Israel Folau to get used to not seeing much of the ball for the Wallabies.

Folau was a virtual spectator on the wing against New Zealand on Saturday in Wellington until he sprinted 75 metres for an intercept try in the second half of the hosts' 27-16 win.

The former Queensland State of Origin star is yet to re-sign with the ARU or the NSW Waratahs for next year and Canterbury are keen to secure his services and bring him back to the NRL.

Tuqiri spent eight years playing rugby and although he said he enjoyed his time in the 15-man game, he admitted he found it hard work to adjust at first.

"It took me a full year and in the second season I was still not well versed in getting involved," Tuqiri said.

"I had Eddie Jones who was a really good coach back then along with Glenn Ella and they really helped me."

Folau was hugely impressive on his Test debut against the British and Irish Lions scoring twice in Brisbane in the series opener in June.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie and the Waratahs have made it clear they want the 24-year-old to stay.

However, Tuqiri, who left the NRL to play rugby in 2002 and has been impressed by Folau's progress, said he could understand if he was feeling frustrated.

"As a winger in rugby you have to hold your shape and stay out there as much as you can," he said.

"Anything can happen as there are unlimited tackles and you can't just come in for the sake of it.

"At times I found it frustrating. Sometimes you just don't get your hands on the ball and that is because it's a forward dominated game.

"There's a lot of kicks, rucks and mauls, scrums and line-outs.

"And when the ball does come it sort of stops at 12 or 13 and then gets recycled. It's something he has got to get used to.

"It's not saying he won't play well sometimes it's just how the game goes."

Tuqiri played under McKenzie at the Waratahs and is a big fan of the new Wallabies coach and believes if Folau does stays then he'll improve under the Super Rugby winning mentor's guidance.

"There's a lot of things he can do, but Ewen is there and there is a good coaching staff at the Wallabies and they'll help him with that," he said.

"He can run inside lines off players and when he gets his hands on the footy he's pretty good.

"But he's going well and doesn't need my advice."


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