Wallabies fullback Israel Folau rates himself ’50-50′ to play Springboks
Last updated 18:30, September 3 2018
CAMERON SPENCER/GETTY IMAGES
Wallabies fullback Israel Folau grimaces as he leaves the field during the first Bledisloe test in Sydney last month.
Israel Folau is running on his injured ankle at the Wallabies’ Gold Coast training base but isn’t confident he’ll be able to prove his fitness to play South Africa.
The fullback rolled his ankle in the Bledisloe Cup opener and missed the subsequent test as the Wallabies were soundly beaten in Auckland.
Folau rated himself a 50-50 chance of appearing on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium, where he knows a win will help appease the public’s criticism of the side after two heavy defeats to the All Blacks.
“At this stage I’d probably say it’s a 50-50, only had one run and that was on Friday,” he said.
“I guess I’ll know more as the week goes on.”
After a brief warm-up, the former NRL and AFL talent trained away from the main group under gloomy skies at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast on Monday.
Long the home of Queensland’s State of Origin training camps that Folau himself has been a part of, the resort has witnessed its fair share of miracle recoveries.
“I hope that rubs off for me. I’ve stayed here in the past. It’s a great spot,” he said.
Also familiar with Suncorp Stadium, Folau hopes one of his favourite stadiums can again provide some respite for coach Michael Cheika’s under-fire squad.
Australia beat Ireland in Brisbane earlier this year, while they also toppled the All Blacks in last year’s Bledisloe dead rubber.
MARK KOLBE/GETTY IMAGES
All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett shows Israel Folau a clean pair of heels during the Sydney Bledisloe test.
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks in terms of the way we’ve been playing. That’s obviously very clear,” Folau said.
“It’s going to be another tough game on the weekend but we’ve had some really good games there in the past and that’s obviously going to help us going into this week.”
AT A GLANCE
31-man Wallabies squad
Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Fainga’a, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (c), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou. Backs: Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett- Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Matt Toomua.
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