The repercussions from Israel Folau’s forgettable AFL practice match against Richmond have continued after Greater Western Sydney revealed his accidental head clash with Tom Scully will cost the young Giant a start in the club’s first competition fixture against Sydney on Saturday.
Folau faces being rubbed out of the season-opener himself after twice being reported for rough conduct in the Giants’ hefty practice match loss to the Tigers at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Saturday.
And things got no better for the star NRL recruit on Sunday when his club confirmed that the incident between Folau and Scully left the latter with a slight depressed fracture of his cheekbone.
Young midfielder Scully, another of the Giants’ key recruits for their inaugural AFL season, is expected to miss one week.
“While it is obviously disappointing for Tom not to be able to play in our first game, the prognosis from the medical staff was very positive and we look forward to him returning to the side for our round-two match against North Melbourne on April 8,” the Giants’ general manager of football operations, Graeme Allan said.
Folau’s first charge was for a swinging tackle on Daniel Jackson just before halftime, while he was pinged again in the following quarter for an allegedly ill-timed spoil over midfielder Brett Deledio.
Recruited with huge fanfare from rugby league, the loss of Folau would be a public relations disaster for the Giants should he be suspended.
All tribunal cases from weekend matches will be heard on Monday.