Australia's Israel Folau will be sidelined for three months, officials said Thursday as they confirmed he will need surgery for an ankle injury sustained during the World Cup.
The fullback was relatively subdued in the latter stages of the tournament in England, which the All Blacks went on to win in the final against the Wallabies, after he injured an ankle in a pool game.
The Australian Rugby Union said scans revealed the 26-year-old will require surgery for the injury which saw him miss the Wallabies' quarter-final win over Scotland.
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"Despite being hampered by the injury for most of the tournament, Folau ran for the most metres of any Wallabies player and finished seventh overall with 366 metres gained over his six matches," the ARU said in a statement.
Folau will complete his rehabilitation in Sydney ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season, when he will once again be a key player for the NSW Waratahs, it added.
Folau, a former rugby league international, has played 38 Tests since making his debut in 2013.
World Cup winner Will Greenwood expects England to appoint one of the game’s “super coaches” to replace Stuart Lancaster.
Lancaster in a statement admitted responsibility for England’s World Cup failure, saying “we didn’t achieve success on the field when it mattered and we all have to take responsibility for that but me especially as head coach.”
He told Sky Sports News: “There will be a variety of names put forward. I don’t think they’d go with a young English coach who’s not won big trophies yet.
“Long term, (Rob) Baxter of Exeter Chiefs will be one to keep an eye on. I hope they’re monitoring him, mentoring him. But I think they will go with one of the super coaches, a coach that has won big tournaments, whether it be in Super Rugby, European Cups, Tri Nations, Rugby Championships, Grand Slams and even World Cups.”
Stuart Lancaster acted with dignity throughout his tenure and continues in that honourable manner today. But it is a results business.
— Tom Hamilton (@tomESPNscrum) November 11, 2015
Greenwood believes Lancaster’s World Cup side were not prepared for the tournament. Greenwood said: “I look back on it and I see the style in which Australia and New Zealand play, averaging 65 caps in that final. I just think that the young team were overawed.
“At key moments in games, when the pressure really came, they were unable to express themselves. It’s clear the team weren’t able to deal with the intensity of this World Cup and even if they had made the quarter-final, wouldn’t have been able to go on and win the trophy.”
Stuart Lancaster has stepped down as England head coach by “mutual consent”, England’s Rugby Football Union announced on Wednesday.
Lancaster’s departure, three and a half years after his appointment, was expected in the light of England’s disastrous World Cup campaign, which saw the hosts eliminated in the group phase.
“I am obviously extremely saddened to finish the way we did in this World Cup and to step down from the role,” Lancaster said in a statement released by the RFU.
“As I have always said, I ultimately accept and take responsibility for the team’s performance and we have not delivered the results we all hoped for during this tournament.”
Appointed in April 2012, Lancaster, 46, led England to four successive second-place finishes in the Six Nations championship, but this year’s World Cup was always his primary objective.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) November 11, 2015
It proved a spectacular failure, with England crashing out following defeats by Wales and Australia, while Lancaster faced strong criticism for unsuccessful selection gambles such as his decision to place his faith in rugby league convert Sam Burgess.
“The Rugby World Cup was hugely disappointing for everyone associated with the England team and the subsequent review into the team’s performance was always intended to be extremely comprehensive, which it has been,” said RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie.
“Stuart has been fully involved and has given feedback as well as the other coaches, players, management and a wide variety of people from around the game.
“Following the review, Stuart and I met, where we agreed that he should step down as head coach.”
Ritchie will now lead the search for Lancaster’s successor, which the RFU said would begin “immediately”.