Wallaby Israel Folau hyped for French rugby Test

Israel Folau and Will Genia during a Wallabies training session at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast on Thursday. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Israel Folau and Will Genia during a Wallabies training session at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast on Thursday. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

RUGBY UNION 

Israel Folau is predicting the unpredictable on Saturday night from a France outfit he's likened to himself.

Twelve months since his two-try Wallabies debut against the British and Irish Lions, Folau is relishing the prospect of his first taste of French flair.

Suncorp Stadium will again be the location and Folau is ready to carry the momentum of try-scoring records for Australia and the Waratahs into what looms as an entertaining three-Test series.

"I feel a lot more comfortable within the team environment and the combinations we have in the team are working well," he said.

"We're ahead of where we were last year."

After equalling Lote Tuqiri's calendar-year mark of 10 tries at the end of 2013, Folau declared he wanted to take his game to a new level in 2014.

So far, he's delivering. With three Super Rugby rounds to go, the fullback has broken Peter Hewat's NSW season record with 11 from as many games.

The French have rested captain Thierry Dusautoir due to an arm problem and chosen rusty Frederic Michalak at five-eighth.

"I think there will be a bit of everything really," Folau said. "We've trained all week for the unpredictable.

"Especially in attack - they can throw the ball around, put little chips over the top and grubbers in behind so, defensively, we have to be on to try and stop them."

Studying a team full of players he's hardly seen until doing his video homework this week, Folau particularly warned of bewildering offloads and a free-flowing approach.

"They push things when most players don't think you can do it," he said.

"I'm very excited about what they present to us.

"I play a similar style where I like to play my rugby on what unfolds during the game and not too structured."

Although France have rested centre Mathieu Bastareaud following his late arrival from Toulon's Top 14 triumph, the Wallabies believe they will have their hands full with a classy midfield pairing of Wesley Fofana and Gael Fickou.

Wallabies No 12 Matt Toomua rated direct opposite Fofana the top inside-centre in world rugby.

"He's set the tone as a 12 at the moment - both he and [All Black] Ma'a Nonu," Toomua said.

"I'll have my hands full but I'm definitely looking forward to being tested by the in-form 12 in the world."

AAP

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