Folau pulled from NSW side by ARU
April 12, 2014
The ARU has ruled out Folau in an unprecedented move © Getty Images
The Australian Rugby Union has sensationally withdrawn Israel Folau from the NSW line-up to play Western Force on Saturday night, less than 36 hours after the Waratahs had deemed the fullback fit to play.
In a highly unusual move, the ARU received their own advice on Folau who sustained a throat injury against the Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby match on March 21. While he travelled to South Africa for the second match of their two-fixture tour, he was ruled unfit to play in the clash with the Stormers last weekend.
The controversial move has left the Waratahs seething with the side given little notice before Folau was withdrawn from the match. Waratahs coach Michael Cheika told Fairfax Media that Folau was very disappointed to miss out on a third match, especially as he was not included in the discussions between the ARU and specialist doctors.
"Israel is very, very disappointed," Cheika said on Saturday. "He feels he is an important piece of the puzzle and we are disappointed on his behalf that he was not contacted at any stage of the ARU's decision-making process this week. We think [talking to Folau] is essential to any decision that's made about ruling him in our out."
On Thursday he was named in the Waratahs' side by Cheika, but the ARU stepped in on the eve of the Australian derby, chief medical officer Dr Warren McDonald making his decision based on specialist medical advice. But the ARU stepped in on the eve of the Australian derby, chief medical officer Dr Warren McDonald making his decision based on specialist medical advice.