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ARU steps in to Folau saga

Fri, 11 Apr 2014 12:37
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This is a player welfare issue
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The Australian Rugby Union has stepped in to prevent Rugby League convert and Wallaby star Israel Folau from playing for the Waratahs against the Western Force on Saturday.

The ARU said in a statement that Folau has been ruled out of the Round Nine Super Rugby encounter in Perth based on medical advice regarding his throat injury.

It goes on to say the decision was made by the ARU's Chief Medical Officer Warren McDonald.

he based his decision on specialist medical advice.

"Advice from our medical specialists is that Israel's throat injury hasn't healed to the point where it's in his best interests to return to play tomorrow [Saturday]," McDonald said.

"This is a player welfare issue, which has been the focus of all medical staff involved in this difficult decision, and we'll continue to work on the plan for his return as soon as possible."

The ARU's Chief Medical Officer takes all medical advice into consideration – including evidence from team doctors and external specialists – before making a decision about a player's fitness to return to play.

Folau suffered the injury against the Rebels in Round Six.

He has already missed his team's Round Seven (versus Sharks) and Round Eight (Stormers) matches on their South African tour.

Earlier this week the Waratahs said Folau was "fully recovered and ready to ".

However, the ARU are clearly intent on protecting one of their most valuable assets.

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