Australia full-back Israel Folau is set to miss the end-of-year Tests as head coach Michael Cheika revealed he would be resting his star.
Folau won’t be on the plane to Japan on Tuesday week, as the game against the Barbarians on Saturday will be his final match of the year.
“He had in his contract the ability to take a Japan leg – if he wanted to – at the end of this season.
“We discussed it and we thought it might be better for him to have a break and come back fresh next year.”
Cheika’s reasoning was two fold, adding: “He’s played a lot of footy and he’s been doing so well.
“I would prefer him to have that break than to have gone there and I think that’s a good balance for all of us.
“It’s part of building our depth as well.
“It will get other players to take responsibility without him there.
“It will be good for him and a good opportunity for players in that position to fill some of that space.”
Cheika feels not taking Folau on tour will benefit him and the Wallabies long term.
“He’s been under the microscope every single day since he has come to rugby – every single day,” he said.
“This will be a chance for him to get out of that for a moment and rest his body, rest his mind, take a well earned breather and then get back into it from day one of Super Rugby next year.”