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Interesting to see how Folau centre experiment plays out

It’s with a nagging feeling of unease that I approach this, my first Sportsword blog in almost two years. Having failed, in that time, to deliver on a promise to resolve crossword access issues as our No 1 priority, I now fear I may be running the risk of being labelled a fair-weather blogger.

If that sounds a bit convoluted, let me explain.

It just so happens that I’m launching my blogging “comeback” at a time when, as a Super rugby tipster, I’m travelling pretty well (and if you can’t accept that at face value, I’d invite you to line my Season Update up against those of some of the other media “experts” around the country).

It also comes at a time when I’m inclined to give this trumpet of mine a short burst as the Waratahs attempt to salvage their 2016 campaign when they face the Brumbies in tomorrow night’s Allianz Stadium blockbuster.

It’s not that I’m tipping the Tahs (in fact, my hard-earned would be riding on the Brumbies). It’s just that I’m delighted to see new Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson has finally opted to start Israel Folau in a position I suggested here, all of three years ago, that he may ultimately prove the most effective — at outside centre.

I won’t indulge in revisiting my reasons for floating that idea at the time (May 2, 2013) the multi-code-hopper was settling into rugby union at fullback. But let’s just see how things play out tomorrow night before assessing whether Wallabies coach Michael Cheika might see value in following his Tahs successor’s lead.

— Peter Thomson

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