Home » Sport » Rugby »

Israel Dagg expecting Wallabies wide game

The Queensland Reds’ attacking flavour mixed with the outrageous skill of Israel Folau.



THE Queensland Reds’ attacking flavour mixed with the outrageous skill of Israel Folau.

It’s left All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg expecting the sort of backline onslaught from Australia that the Wallabies themselves have already promised for Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney.

New Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has already expressed a desire to introduce a more expansive game than employed under predecessor Robbie Deans.

Dagg is sure they will use a similar playbook to the Reds, who developed a highly-effective style under McKenzie in which mercurial first five-eighth Quade Cooper pulls the strings.

“The Reds like to use the ball, spread it wide, with quality passes.

“They like to run it from everywhere. It’s going to be a pretty quick game.”

Twenty-eight Test veteran Dagg doesn’t believe the All Blacks will be caught out by a rapid-fire Wallabies game plan, mainly because of Super Rugby familiarity with their players.

However, he says no amount of homework can prepare a team for countering the likes of Folau, who shone with his attacking gifts in his debut series against the Lions.

Dagg has lined up against his namesake and former rugby league star just once, when the Crusaders faced Folau’s Waratahs in Christchurch in May.

It became apparent that night what a threat the 24-year-old can be.

“Just try to cut down the space. He’s obviously pretty good with ball in hand and can create a bit of havoc.

“But there’s players all across the field for them who are pretty sharp, so we can’t focus on one person.”

After a sluggish start to his season, Dagg hit top gear in the 3-0 home series defeat of France in June.

He formed a dangerous combination with wingers Ben Smith and Julian Savea which he hopes can fire again in Sydney.