Super Rugby: Waratahs full-back Israel Folau ruled out of Sharks game
Last Updated: 24/03/14 11:20am
Israel Folau: Has scored eight tries in four Super Rugby games this season
The Waratahs will be without in-form full-back Israel Folau for Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Sharks after he was ruled out through injury.
Folau, who has scored an incredible eight tries in four games this season, suffered a throat injury during last weekend's 32-8 victory of the Rebels.
That was later confirmed as a haematoma by a specialist and the Waratahs are unwilling to risk the dual code international on a long-haul flight to South Africa.
Folau will return to the specialist on Thursday and that will determine whether he will feature in the Waratahs' second game in South Africa against the Stormers on 5 April.
Waratahs head coach Michael Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald: "If you think about it, he's come off the back of two AFL seasons, so he hasn't had that contact element, then he's had a full year of (Super and Test rugby) last year.
"He's only had one small injury (during the British and Irish Lions tour) so he missed one game, and I'm mindful that there's a cumulative effect.
"Wherever I can manage him in training and in games I will. Sometimes for a player, that 10 minutes at the end of a game when the game is pretty comfortable gives them the chance to wind down a bit earlier.
"It's a little thing but little things can add up."
Cheika says the Waratahs must get used to life without Folau, and they have capable replacements in fellow internationals Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper.
"We need to prepare for games where he is not playing, because it's going to happen going forward," said Cheika.
"He's going to get injured, so we want to also be able to play without him."
Watch Sharks v Waratahs live on Sky Sports 2 (red button) from 3.05pm on Saturday