Cheika sweats on Folau and Giteau

Date published: October 26 2015

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Australian coach Michael Cheika is concerned about the fitness of key men Israel Folau and Matt Giteau ahead of the Rugby World Cup Final against New Zealand on Saturday.

Folau has been nursing an ankle problem and was replaced with 15 minutes to go in the Wallabies' semi-final clash with Argentina.

While Cheika revealed that the substitution was a predetermined one, Folau did not look comfortable as he left the field. 

Despite what it looked like, Cheika is not jumping to any conclusions just yet.

"He pulled up pretty good," said the Wallaby coach. 

"He was always going to tire a bit toward the end because of his injury. He actually got caught under a tackle. We were taking him off because we felt 65 (minutes) was about his duration with that ankle injury, just the fatigue of it. The way the game was going – they were manoeuvring us around the back field a bit.

"We didn't want him limping around and as it worked out it was the right time because he was caught under that tackle."

Meanwhile, centre Giteau was taken off in the 47th minute after he strained his groin. The Toulon playmaker's clever play and tactical kicking has been an asset to the Australian side and Cheika was optimistic about his progress.

"He is feeling a lot better than he did yesterday evening," added Cheika.

"In the next day or so we will get a better opinion of how everyone feels."

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