Cheika blasts ARU over Folau withdrawal

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika says that the system of trust between the Australian Rugby Union’s medical protocols and the Super Rugby franchises has been jeopardized after the ARU ruled Israel Folau out for this weekend.

Cheika said that he got a verbal bashing from a disappointed Folau after the ARU pulled the fullback just over 24 hours before kick off.

The ARU’s chief medical officer Dr Warren McDonald got specialist advice on the throat injury that had ruled Folau out of the Waratahs last two matches and late on Friday he decided to pull the fullback out of the math against the Force.

Cheika says that this is the second time that the ARU have broken their protocols with the Super Rugby franchises by asking for advice on Folau’s condition without first going through Waratahs team doctor Sharron Flahive.

“The whole system is predicated on trust, there’s certain jeopardy around that now,” Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Cheika was quick to point out that the Waratahs had gone through all of the required medical tests in the run up to the match against the Force.

“We’ve got a very experienced doctor who has seen this injury before,” Cheika said. “

“We’ve put ourselves in the picture with lots of information. It’s not black and white, it’s not like having a broken leg.”

“We’ve also considered the player and I think this is the biggest thing.”

“We’ve been in contact with Israel every day. 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.”

“We went through all the tests that were required and I can tell you that no one from the ARU medical staff has spoken to Israel at all, which you have to think is a bit of a prerequisite.”

“I had to deal with him last night giving me a gobful because he’s not playing. I didn’t put him out.

“He’s a very smart guy – he understands what his body can do and where he’s at.

“From what I’ve heard from him, he’s very very disappointed with the way it’s gone down.”

Cheika has been forced to move Kurtley Beale to fullback and bring in Jono Lance at 12 where Beale would have started.

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