Israel Folau revealed as player behind Michael Cheika's shoulder injury

One of Michael Cheika's Wallabies players has let slip who cause the shoulder injury that put him in hospital. Photo / Getty
One of Michael Cheika's Wallabies players has let slip who cause the shoulder injury that put him in hospital. Photo / Getty

Israel Folau has been revealed as the man behind the shoulder injury that put Michael Cheika in hospital and forced him to have surgery just days out from the Wallabies spring tour.

He did not leave with the Wallabies on Friday, instead opting to go a day later, understood to be because of the pain he was still in.

Cheika kept quiet on who did the damage at Wallabies training two weeks ago in the lead up to the Eden Park test.

However, reserve Wallabies halfback Nick Frisby let slip at the John Eales Medal ceremony on Thursday the secret as to who injured Cheika during a live-stream on rugby.com.au that was not broadcast to those in the room.

"Cheik's not telling anyone who hurt his shoulder," said former Wallabies hooker Adam Freier, who was conducting the interview. "Was it any of you blokes who tackled him?"

"I'm happy to give it away," Frisby said. "It obviously wasn't me at 80 kilos. It was big Israel Folau. Came down on him on a high ball ... I think Cheik's lucky it wasn't me, he probably would have done both shoulders."

Frisby's admission surprised teammate Sean McMahon who then went on to give his opinion of the incident.

"Let's be honest that's what you get when Israel Folau's coming down on you with a high ball, someone's shoulder is probably going downhill," McMahon said.

Cheika confirmed to reporters during the week of the injury but did not want to reveal the player that made him worse for wear.

"When I rang my missus afterwards and told her what happened, the first thing she said was, 'is the player all right?' It was an interesting day out," Cheika said. "I'm out for this season, I think if I work on myself hard I'll be right for next season. It's going to be tricky half the time. I had to do it, I wasn't that keen to get it done. If I didn't do it I wouldn't be able to use my arm properly. She's done now I can't turn back."

Asked whether he would accept All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's invite for a peace-making beer, he replied he was off the alcohol, so wouldn't be taking part in drinking games.

- NZ Herald

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