Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is considering shifting Israel Folau to outside centre in 2016.
Folau has only been part of the 15-man game since 2013, excelling at fullback for both the Waratahs and Australia. However, Gibson, who replaces Michael Cheika as coach of the 2014 Super Rugby champions, believes the speedster could do well at outside centre.
The move had been previously contemplated, but not executed as Adam Ashley-Cooper had been the incumbent outside centre at the Waratahs for some time. With Ashley-Cooper’s recent move to Bordeaux-Begles, however, Gibson is keen to get the fullback playing in the middle of the field.
Moving Folau to outside centre has its own challenges as the position is regarded as the toughest in terms of defence. If he does play at 13, Folau will need to work closely with Waratahs defence guru Nathan Grey to improve his skill set. Grey, however, is confident Folau will do well.
‘Without a doubt, he's comfortable in that front line. There's some nuances you've definitely got to pick up and he's been working with Adam and with other excellent defenders for a number of years,’ he said. ‘So it's just a matter of making that decision and up-skilling from there.’