Folau skips training as Waratahs prepare for Cheetahs

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs star Israel Folau took no part in training on Thursday and is potentially in doubt for Saturday's clash with the Cheetahs. 

Folau was a spectator at Moore Park, with Rob Horne the man looking most likely to move into the 13 spot if Folau is ruled out with an illness, pushing veteran Matt Carraro to the wing.

The Waratahs desperately need a win against the Cheetahs to stay in contention for the Australian conference title, sitting two points behind current leaders, the Rebels and equal with the Brumbies.

NSW has won just one game at home this season, beating the reds in the opening round before dropping matches to the Highlanders, Rebels and Brumbies in their matches since.

Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley said it was a record they were desperate to turn around.

“I think that’s been one of the biggest disappointments of this season that we haven’t  performed for our fans the way we would’ve (liked).” he said.

“The best thing of winning away is it now allows us to come home and consolidate those wins.

“Those wins don't count for much if we don't back it up Saturday  and the following week.

“It’s great for us to get those wins away but we really want to come back and make Allianz a bit of a fortress, the way we have the last couple of years.”

The Waratahs have managed to name a relatively unchanged side for the Cheetahs game ,with Tatafu Polota-Nau starting at hooker in the only change to the 23, when the team was announced Thursday before training. 

After chancing their arm a lot in the early parts of the season, the Waratahs look to have reined it in in recent weeks, 

"They’re (opposition) are trying to lull us into a false sense of attacking play so in that sense we have tried to be a bit smarter in our decisions.

"I suppose also in the back field sort of thing, having a bit of a kick drill but always looking to get the ball back when we’re kicking. We’re not just kicking aimlessly down the field, we actually kicking for a purpose and kicking for an outcome.

"That’s really helped and guys have really bought into owning the detail.

"That's been a big focus for us the last couple of weeks is to really know the detail and for everyone in the squad from 1-23 are across what their role is for the team. I think over the last coupel of weeks, guys have learned that and been able to go out and execute.