Israel Folau Ruled Out Of Bledisloe Away Game
Doctors are hopeful the fullback will return for game three.
Kurtley Beale shapes as an option to fill Israel Folau's boots after he was ruled out of Australia's must-win Bledisloe Cup return bout in Auckland.
The Wallabies must break their 32-year Eden Park hoodoo without Folau after the influential No.15 suffered an ankle injury in Saturday night's 38-13 submission in Sydney.
Folau departed ANZ Stadium on crutches and was a no show at Sydney airport on Sunday, with coach Michael Cheika confirming the Wallabies would need a new custodian in their desperate quest to avoid a 16th straight year of Bledisloe Cup despair.
"He's just got a small tear in a muscle right down low. Quite rare really," Cheika said.
"But it's actually not a long-term injury at all, just a lot of swelling."
Cheika said doctors were hopeful Folau would be back for Australia's third Rugby Championship fixture against South Africa in Brisbane on September 8.
His unavailability leaves young guns Jack Maddocks and Tom Banks in line to make their Wallabies starting debut at the All Blacks' Auckland burial ground, though Cheika said Beale also loomed as a safer option with Matt Toomua a candidate for inside centre.
Maddocks scored Australia's only try on his Test debut after replacing winger Dane Haylett-Petty for the final 25 minutes on Saturday night and Cheika said he'd have no hesitation starting the 22-year-old, or Banks.
"It's an opportunity for someone who's going to come into the team," Cheika said.
"I thought Maddocks had some nice touches when he came on and he got a taste of what Test footy is about.
"I'd say it's between himself and Banks, they'll be looking to fill that spot this week during training and whoever gets the opportunity, I'm sure they'll go well."
Beale has played 34 of his 75 Tests at fullback, including all four on last year's spring tour in Folau's absence.
He was a world player of the year nominee in 2010 when he lit up international rugby with a series of scintillating fullback displays.
With Folau out, Cheika drafted Sefa Naivalu into his 28-man squad on Sunday.
"It's logical to bring a winger in there to cover that role because Maddocks can play fullback or wing too and we've got Banks, who's an out-and-out fullback."