Foley back home at flyhalf

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Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Bernard Foley is back at flyhalf and back in form, Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham says.

Larkham said Foley looked comfortable being in the main playmaking role, playing two Tests in his preferred post after five Tests at inside centre.

“I think he's had two good games in a row now, I think the New Zealand game was a bit of a standout for him as well,” he said.

“He certainly feels comfortable there, he understands the way we play really well, moves the team around the paddock and finds the space now.”

Foley has thrived so far in his return to 10, playing with rookie Reece Hodge at 12, a combination that looked more settled in Cardiff.

Larkham said that stint at 12 hadn’t necessarily changed Foley’s game drastically, rather that the 27-year-old had simply found himself in a good place.

“It always changes your game when you play in a different position, you see the game from a different perspective,” he said.

"I think the combinations around him have worked really well for him so I don't know whether the move to 12 has made him a better player but I think he's just in good form at the moment.” - Stephen Larkham 

“I think just looking at the way he's played over the last couple of games, he's prepared really well, he's been confident when he's been out on the field and I think the combinations around him have worked really well for him so I don't know whether the move to 12 has made him a better player but I think he's just in good form at the moment.”

The Wallabies backline has remained steady in the past two Tests, though the return of Will Genia to camp could change that, and Larkham said the consistency of the lineup had shown against Wales.

“We certainly had a number of opportunities [against Wales] and I guess there's probably a couple of reasons for that - the way the Welsh defended and the combination of the players that we had on the field who've been now playing and training together for some period of time,” he said.

“I think that's the beauty of the squad at the moment is that we've got good depth but we've managed to keep the same, relatively the same, team on the field for a number of games in a row, which increases their confidence on the field and I think particularly in that first half, we were just allowed to play a number of passages and we certainly found some space.”

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw and flyhalf Finn Russell after the 2015 RWC quarter-final. Photo: Getty ImagesFoley and the Wallabies will come up against a dynamic Scottish attack on Saturday, with Larkham singling out halves Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell and fullback Stuart Hogg as the key threats.

“They're a team that have dangerous players in key positions. Laidlaw's got a very good running game, previously a five-eighth so probably loves to run the ball more than most halfbacks,” he said.

“Finn Russell is a very clever five-eighth, very agile and very skilful, and then Hogg at the back is very elusive as well, very quick and quite dangerous if you give him a bit of ball in space.”

All of the Wallabies’ Spring Tour Tests will be broadcast LIVE on beIn Sports and streamed LIVE on Foxtel Go (for Foxtel subscribers).

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