Marika Koroibete arrives at Sydney airport ready to fly out with his new Wallabies teammates.
Marika Koroibete arrives at Sydney airport ready to fly out with his new Wallabies teammates. JOEL CARRETT

Spring Tour is about learning, not playing, says Koroibete

RUGBY UNION: Code-hopper Marika Koroibete isn't expecting to make his Test debut on the Spring Tour but is determined to make an impact with his Wallabies coaches and teammates.

The former Melbourne Storm star is among the 32-man squad that flew out of Sydney after his controversial selection by coach Michael Cheika.

The 24-year-old admitted making a successful switch would be a difficult task, having not played a game in the 15-man code since before leaving his native Fiji in 2010.

"It's really hard coming from NRL straight to the Wallabies. I haven't played a game since high school. This will be a big challenge for me,” he said.

"This tour is all about me learning as much as I can and we go from there. I've been watching rugby since I was young (but) it's changed a lot now.”

Koroibete said he had not been guaranteed a spot by Cheika before seeing out his time in the NRL with the Storm.

"He didn't promise me anything,” Koroibete said. "I'm not expecting a game. I'm just expecting to train as hard as I can, try to impress the coaching staff and see how I go from there.”

The Wallabies play their first Test of the tour next weekend against Wales in Cardiff.

Wallabies assistant coach Stephen Larkham, who announced yesterday he would be ending his time as ACT Brumbies coach at the end of next year, backed Koroibete, comparing him to a young Matt Giteau.

"And he turned into one of the greats of the game,” Larkham said.

"(Koroibete) certainly has got that background of rugby union and it's not much different when you're playing on the wing in rugby league to rugby union.

"There'll be a few more patterns and slight changes from set pieces that he'll probably have to get his head around but I think fitting in with the guys first and then just getting that opportunity is all he needs.”


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