Folau ruled out of Auckland Bledisloe with injury

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Israel Folau has been ruled out of the second Bledisloe Test, with a muscle tear in his leg.

Folau appeared to roll his ankle jumping for a catch midway through the second half in Sydney, before hobbling down the race.

The 29-year-old did not travel with the team to Auckland on Sunday morning, replaced by Sefa Naivalu in the Wallabies squad.

Cach Michael Cheika said he was expected to return for the Brisbane Test against South Africa on September 8.

"He’s got a small tear in a muscle right down low, quite rare really," he told reporters on Sunday morning.

"(It's) a small muscle at the bottom of his ankle. It’s just bled a lot so there’s a lot of swelling.

"It’s actually not a long-term injury at all, it’s just a lot of swelling so we’ll be hopefully he’ll be back for the first game in Brisbane."

Cheika said it would be 'logical' to use one of Dane Haylett-Petty, Tom Banks or Jack Maddocks to fill the void left by Folau at 15.

He also briefly floated the idea of shifting Kurtley Beale to fullback and moving Matt Toomua to 12.

"Beale is an option back there, if we want to put Toomua up I the front line or something like that," he said.

"We’ve got options there around what we want to do.

"That’s who we've been working with the last few weeks so I think it’s logical to bring a wing in there and he can cover that role, because Maddocks can play fullback and we’ve got Banks who’s an out and out fullback."

Maddocks impressed Cheika in his Test debut on Saturday night and certainly didn't hurt his chances of retention for a must-win second Test.

"I thought Maddocks had some nice touches when he came on and he got a taste of what Test footy’s about," Cheika said.

"I’d say between himself and Banks they’ll be looking to fill that spot this week during training and whoever gets the opportunity will go well."

Front rowers Scott Sio and Taniela Tupou both made the trip across the ditch and Cheika is hopeful they will play next weekend, should they get through training this week.

Folau wasn't the only man missing from the squad as they departed for Auckland, with Brandon Paenga-Amosa left in Sydney.

Cheika opted to bring Folau Faingaa as a third hooker in the squad, ruling out any chance of the June incumbent being included in the Auckland team.

Rory Arnold and Billy Meakes were also taken on the trip as extra numbers but Cheika saif that both could be considered for selection.

The Wallabies take on the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday August 25, kicking off at 7:35pm local and 5:35pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

SQUAD

Wallabies to travel to Auckland

Forwards

Jermaine Ainsley (1 Test, Melbourne Rebels, 23)

Allan Alaalatoa (23 Tests, Brumbies, 24)

Adam Coleman (24 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)

Ned Hanigan (13 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 23)

Michael Hooper (c) (83 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 26)

Sekope Kepu (95 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 32)

Tolu Latu (8 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 25)

David Pocock (70 Tests, Brumbies, 30)

Tatafu Polota-Nau (83 Tests, Leicester, 33)

Tom Robertson (22 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 23)

Izack Rodda (8 Tests, Queensland Reds, 21)

Pete Samu (4 Tests, Brumbies, 26)

Rob Simmons (86 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)

Scott Sio (46 Tests, Brumbies, 26)

Lukhan Tui (8 Tests, Queensland Reds, 21)

Taniela Tupou (4 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)

Backs

Tom Banks* (uncapped, Brumbies, 24)

Kurtley Beale (75 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)

Bernard Foley (59 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 28)

Will Genia (91 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 30)

Dane Haylett-Petty (22 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 29)

Reece Hodge (28 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 23)

Marika Koroibete (12 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)

Jack Maddocks (1 cap, Melbourne Rebels, 21)

Sefa Naivalu (7 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)

Nick Phipps (65 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)

Joe Powell (4 Tests, Brumbies, 24)

Matt Toomua (34 Tests, Leicester/Melbourne Rebels, 28)

*denotes uncapped