Israel Folau has been revealed as the player responsible for the tackle on Michael Cheika, which forced the Wallabies coach to undergo shoulder surgery.
Cheika sustained a shoulder knock in training two weeks ago in the lead-up to Australia’s third Bledisloe Cup Test match against the All Blacks, but didn’t reveal how he was injured. He has since had surgery on his shoulder and did not leave with the team to Europe on Friday. It's believed he opted to travel north a day later.
At the coveted John Eales medal ceremony on Thursday night, where Cheika appeared arm in sling, scrumhalf Nick Frisby identified Folau as the player who took out the coach.
‘It obviously wasn’t me at 80 kilos. It was big Israel Folau. He came down on him (Cheika) on a high ball. I think Cheik’s lucky it wasn’t me, he probably would have done both shoulders,’ Frisby joked.
Star flank Sean McMahon hinted that Cheika probably had it coming for getting in Folau’s way under the high ball.
‘Let’s be honest, that’s what you get when Israel’s coming down on you with a high ball; someone's shoulder is probably going downhill,’ said McMahon.
Cheika also confirmed his wife’s concern for the wellbeing of the player who injured him when he told her about the incident.
‘When I rang my missus afterwards and told her what happened, the first thing she said was “Is the player all right?”. I’m out for this season, if I work on myself I’ll be right for next season,’ Cheika laughed.
Photo: Cameton Spencer/Getty Images