Rugby: Folau fumes over ARU's injury ruling

Israel Folau expected to play after taking medical advice. Photo / Getty Images
Israel Folau expected to play after taking medical advice. Photo / Getty Images

A confused Israel Folau is frustrated and disappointed by the Australian Rugby Union's decision to prevent him playing in Perth on Saturday, but says it could be six months before his throat injury is totally healed.

Folau missed the last two Super Rugby games in South Africa, but was named in the Waratahs team to play Western Force.

He expected to play after saying he got the go ahead by a specialist in Perth earlier this week and from NSW team doctor Sharron Flahive.

The ARU's chief medical officer Dr Warren McDonald made the decision on Friday after getting specialist advice on the throat injury.

"Obviously I'm very disappointed and frustrated at this stage, but the ARU have made a decision and I'm not happy with it," Folau told Fox Sports.

"I'm very confused at this stage. I've spoken to Sharron and the specialist that I've seen here in Perth this week.

"They said that I was good to go, with the risk that I was well aware of, but obviously the ARU have stepped in and I'm very disappointed.

"I haven't had any contact with the ARU medical staff this whole week.

"In this whole situation I think I'm the most important person they've got to contact and I haven't spoken to any of them, so in terms of that, I'm very disappointed."

Folau said he wasn't sure exactly how long he would be sidelined for, though he mentioned it could take up to six months.

"I am going on the advice that the specialists have said to me," Folau said. "If you want to make it 100 per cent, it potentially could take that long."

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said earlier that the ARU had twice broken their medical protocol by seeking advice on Folau's condition without first going through Dr Flahive.

"The whole system is predicated on trust, there's certain jeopardy around that now," Cheika said.

Cheika was also on the receiving end of Folau's frustration, though the coach ultimately had no say in the decision to prevent him playing.

"I had to deal with him last night giving me a gobful because he's not playing. I didn't put him out," Cheika said.

"Last week we didn't feel he was ready, so we didn't play him.

"This week he went through all the full contact training. He would have had more contact training on Tuesday than he would have in a game."

- AAP

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