The pair are set to be the new centre duo for the NSW franchise this year, and continued to work on their combination in the final trial match of the summer against the Highlanders.

They had some defensive issues early on in Thursday’s game but looked good in attack with some exciting breaks.

It’s a privilege to play a game with those guys and having that experience around me helps my game.

There was some concern for NSW when Andrew Kellaway hurt his shoulder against the Highlanders, but coach Daryl Gibson is confident he will be fit for next weekend’s round one clash with Western Force.

Rob Horne and Cameron Clark are also expected to be available for the start of the Super Rugby campaign.

Gibson was pleased with rookie Simone’s play, and said he was a player with immense potential.

“He will adjust and start to find his feet at this level,” added the coach. “Having that as his first real – experience, coming up against pretty much an All Blacks backline, he performed pretty well, that’s a real positive.”

Simone only switched to rugby union last year after previously playing for South Sydney Rabbitohs juniors.

He’s set to replace Kurtley Beale as Folau’s partner. The 21-year-old said he felt starstruck playing between Folau and Wallaby five-eighth Bernard Foley.

“It’s a privilege to play a game with those guys and having that experience around me helps my game to develop,” added Simone.

“It’s a privilege and an honour to have Izzy outside me and it makes my job easier just have him running (on to) those short balls. I’ve just got to leave them there and he’ll just come flying through.”

Article Name
Simone keen to learn from Folau
Waratahs youngster Irae Simone says he will lean on the experience of Israel Folau when the pair link up in the centres for the start of the Super Rugby season.
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Best Bet News
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