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Feb 21 (Reuters) - Former Queensland state of origin winger Israel Folau will have to brace himself for a hostile reception when he makes his Super Rugby debut for the New South Wales Waratahs against the Queensland Reds on Saturday.
The 23-year-old signed for the Waratahs in December after a disappointing two years playing in Australian Rules, having previously represented Australia at rugby league.
After impressing during the three trial matches, Folau will start at fullback in his much-hyped debut at the SunCorp Stadium.
Waratahs' head coach Michael Cheika, who will be in charge for his first match, said Folau's big-match experience should help him cope with the highly-charged atmosphere.
"It'll be a pressure-cooker atmosphere but he's experienced that before so he'll be ready for it," Cheika said in a statement.
"A big part of going away from home is getting the fans against you and you've got to try and silence them by what you do on the field." (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Clare Fallon)