Wallabies' powerhouse wing fires warning to England
SPOTLIGHT: Marika Koroibete has fired a warning to Eddie Jones’ England, saying he’s a superior player to the deadly wing who left Australia last year to ply his trade in Japan.
Koroibete on Tuesday pledged his commitment to the Wallabies for the July three-Test series, certain to be one of the three overseas-based players coach Dave Rennie is allowed to pick.
“It will be a good experience. I will bring back a lot. I’m looking forward to it,” Koroibete said from Japan.
The 2019 John Eales Medallist capped a stellar inaugural Japan Rugby League One season with a try-scoring display in Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights’ 18-12 final win over Suntory Sungoliath on Sunday.
Koroibete said playing under former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans had helped him become an even more complete player.
“Getting my detail right,” the 29-year-old said of what he’d specifically been trying to improve.
“I’ve been working on my catch and pass, my decision-making under pressure. I have been given a licence to play what’s in front of me. It’s great. I’ve been given the freedom to roam on the field.”
Koroibete’s Wallabies future was up in the air when he left Australia, with Rennie unable to guarantee any offshore players would earn more Test caps.
But Rennie is now all but certain to call on veteran playmaker Quade Cooper and former vice-captain Samu Kerevi for the England series.
“He called me and we’ve been chatting about how I’m liking Japan and how the rugby is going,” Koroibete said.
“We had a conversation if I am still keen to come over and play in the England series. It will be good to go back and visit Australia.”
Deans expected Koroibete to prove a handful for England.
“He loves to play and the ball in his hands. If he doesn’t have the ball in his hands, he finds a way to attack the game anyway,” Deans said.
“Players want passionate people, enthusiastic people, positive people and Marika is all of the above.”