Israel Folau says he won’t change his attack on the aerial contest despite his ban, but has called for more clarity on the laws in that area.
The Wallabies fullback received a one-match suspension from World Rugby for his mid-air challenge with Ireland Captain Peter O’Mahony in the final Test in Sydney.
Folau missed the NSW Waratahs’ crucial Super Rugby away win over Melbourne, but will be back for Saturday’s home game against the Sunwolves.
While disappointed by the ban Folau was adamant he didn’t need to change his approach or technique.
“I’ll still keep attacking the ball the way I do,” Folau said.
“I think going forward I’d like to see a little bit more clarity within that particular area of the game, not only for myself, but other players are involved in those aerial contests – I think it’s vital and very important.
“I’ll keep being persistent with the way that I attack the ball in the air and do it in a way that’s obviously fair and clean.”
His wife and New Zealand netball star Maria Folau posted a tweet with a video of her husband being challenged by Ireland counterpart Rob Kearney accompanied by the question “Is this not deemed as dangerous/foul play??”
Asked if he was frustrated by any inconsistency over the laws Folau said “Across the board, I think people feel that way.
“It’s obviously out of our hands as a player to clear those things up.”
Folau is acutely aware of the potential dangers involved in an aerial contest.
“Although I agree with what (Waratahs coach) Daryl (Gibson) is saying, there has to be a responsibility on the player that’s lifting him to bring him down safely, and everyone understands, when you go into a contest in the air, you are going to make contact with the opposing player,” Folau said.
“It’s not going to be always clean in the sense that there won’t be any contact, but I understand the dangers of being in the air.
“The last thing you want for yourself or for the opposing player is for anyone to get any serious injury.”
Asked about using his hands or arms in an aerial contest Folau said “I guess that’s the argument, that from my point of view, when you are gong up for a high ball, everything is judged on the flight of the ball in the air and decisions change in the air.
“So when you are going for a one-hand tap back, the other hand is obviously going to be placed in a position where it’s trying to counter-balance your hand that’s tapping back, so it’s a natural movement, which is what I’m saying.
“You’ve obviously got to be wary of that whilst you are in the air, but I won’t be nervous going up into the air, going for those high balls or have a second thought about the way that I attack the ball in the air.”