Foley draws on Bernie's knowledge

by Staff Writer

Bernard Foley is the “iceman” but he wants to emulate the efficiency shown by Wallabies attack coach and legendary fly half Stephen Larkham.

While Larkham has downplayed the influence his World Cup experience has had on the side, Foley said simply having Larkham around was an opportunity to absorb knowledge.

“Stephen, he’s such a world class fly half,” he said.

“He brings that wealth of knowledge.

“The way he approaches games is so efficient and economical in the way he wants to do things and the game plan that we want to play."

Foley said Larkham’s influence had helped him bring more balance into his game and transferring that to the international stage.

“That probably rubbed off on me as having a good balance in what I do in my runs, carries and passes and kicks and also just playing a style that’s suited more to Test Rugby,” he said.

“His knowledge and his vision and wisdom for the game was on show when he played but now as a coach as well.

“It’s definitely a brain that I can talk to and someone that I can get a wealth of knowledge out of.”

Larkham has tried to keep his own Cup experiences separate from this current squad, who he says are on their own journey.

The Brumbies head coach was one of the least surprised, though, by Foley’s game-breaking performance against England on Saturday, destroying the perception of being a consistent player but not necessarily a match winner.

“I’ve seen him play a number of really good games,” he said.

“Even this year he’s played some really good games, hasn’t had the accolades and I guess scored 28 points which is pretty special.

“But he’s been consistent for a long time now.”

Larkham said his role with Foley on a day-to-day basis was just about ensuring clarity in communication.

“We obviously speak about little things, communication, making sure he’s clear with the game calling sheet, clear with the multi phase and gets support from the other playmakers out there,” he said.

Head coach Michael Cheika praised Foley’s control of Saturday’s game and Larkham echoed that on Tuesday, praising the fly half’s skills and ability to bring others into the game.

“His communication, his game control (are strengths),” he said.

“He’s got good skills. I think he works well with the guys around him.

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