Waratahs defence coach Nathan Grey says there’s been no cotton-wool treatment of flyhalf Bernard Foley, with the playmaker set to sit out another week.
Foley has been ruled out of this weekend’s clash with the Highlanders, with his return from a shoulder injury more likely to come in next weekend’s derby against the Queensland Reds.
The 26-year-old is yet to play a 2016 Super Rugby match after injuring his shoulder in the Waratahs trial against the Highlanders.
Foley trained with the squad on Tuesday but didn’t do any contact work and Grey said the call was a relatively black and white one.
“If he was good, he’d be on for sure,” he said.
“Bernard’s not available because he’s unfit, so if he was (fit), he'd be in the mix in that sort of ball playing, decision making role.”
The Waratahs and Highlanders played out a try fest in pre-season and Grey said the pressure of competition points wouldn’t change that too much.
“I think we’ll be going in there wanting to play the way we play,” he said.
“(I’m) 100 per cent sure they’re going to play their brand of footy and back that style against our style.
“The opportunities we create, we’ve got to make sure we nail them and then on the other side of the ball, if they try and create anything from an attacking perspective, then we’re ready for it.”
Grey said the Waratahs had learned from their semi-final loss to the Highlanders last year.
“You’ve always got to learn from those experiences and we went into that game really confident and really positive that we could play a style of footy that would earn us the right to play in the final,” he said.
“We were just outplayed so that certainly still stings among the players and the coaching staff.”
The Waratahs host the Highlanders at Allianz Stadium on Friday night, kicking off at 7:40pm AEDT.