It didn’t take long for Israel Folau to realise his night in Canberra was over on Saturday.
Folau strained the same hamstring in the third Test of the 2013 British and Irish Lions series, and he knew straight away he wouldn’t be able to play another minute.
“My first run, I went to take off and I just felt it go then,” he said.
“I did the same hammy in the past in the British and Irish Lions series, so I know the feeling, so just knew straight away to come straight off.”
Folau is expected to miss up to a month of Super Rugby, though he will have scans to confirm the extent of the injury in the coming days.
One sure thing is that Folau will not be rushed back into the fray before he is ready, with plenty more rugby to play in 2018.
“After the scan, I'll sit down with the physios and medical team to make sure I get my rehab done and making sure that it's not rushed or anything like that and hammy's good ready to come back.
Folau’s absence will be a major one for the Waratahs, but the form of Alex Newsome should be heartening for NSW fans.
Newsome replaced Folau on the wing in Canberra, setting up a spectacular Taqele Naiyaravoro try and posing a threat all night.
It was an exciting sight for Folau, who has been impressed by the former Force winger since his return to Sydney.
“He was one of our stand out players tonight and he did a great job,” he said.
“He's done well for us all year so far, bringing that impact off the bench and tonight was no different.
“He's a very confident guy, he's real talkative around the group and speaks his mind, you can tell by the way that he plays the game.
“He's been playing outstanding rugby all year and tonight he was great again.”
Wing is a position where the Waratahs enjoy some depth, with Cam Clark still waiting for his turn in 2018, an opportunity that will open up for the former Sevens star with Folau’s injury.
“We've ogt plenty of guys that haven't had an opportunity yet to play this year like Clarky,” he said.
“The boys are doing well in those positions and there's a lot of competition within the team, which is healthy, making sure everyone's on their toes ready to compete.”
The Waratahs play the Sunwolves, Reds and Lions in the next three weeks before a bye, with Folau’s return slated for a May 5 clash with the Blues.