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Israel Folau says he is confident that he will be fit for Australia’s Rugby Championship campaign and is excited about the opportunity of trying to topple All Blacks.
The 25-year-old limped out of last month’s deciding Test against the British & Irish Lions with a hamstring injury but despite only playing a handful of games since switching to the union code, he is already seen as a key part of the Wallabies’ attack.
His withdrawal against the Lions left a huge gap in the side but he now looks set to return to the field in time for the upcoming tournament against New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.
It will be a new dawn for Australian rugby following the recent appointment of coach Ewen McKenzie after Robbie Deans finally paid the price for a string of lacklustre performances.
Following the recall of flamboyant fly-half Quade Cooper, Folau is likely to be given even more of the ball during the Rugby Championship following James O’Connor’s recent stuttering performances in the number 10 shirt.
Australia’s first two matches see them take on New Zealand for the annual Bledisloe Cup and having not claimed the trophy since 2002, Folau is desperate to win it back in 2013.
“It’s exciting to be picked in the 40-man squad and now I have to work hard to get into that 25,” he said to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It will be an exciting time and if you get that opportunity to play against the All Blacks it’s the pinnacle of rugby so it will be great.
“I know the All Blacks have held the cup for a long time, and that’s all Australia wants, to bring it back.”