Representative Honours: Australian Sevens 2009/11
Senior Tours: UK/Europe 2013
NSW Waratahs playmaker BERNARD FOLEY experienced a dream Test debut for the Qantas Wallabies in 2013, scoring a try and kicking two conversions in Australia’s record win over Argentina in Rosario.
Foley went on to earn four Test caps during a 2013 campaign where he cemented his place as one of the rising stars in the game and also the Waratahs first-choice number 10.
Following his debut in Rosario, Foley earned selection in the third Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand and in two Spring Tour contests against England at Twickenham and Wales in Cardiff.
His efforts were reward for a dominant Super Rugby campaign where he played all 16 regular season games and led the Australian Conference in metres gained with 2,493.
The June break of Super Rugby also saw Foley return to the Australian Sevens lineup for the first time since 2011, as he was selected as one of 12 to represent Australia at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow, Russia.
While in camp with the Australian Sevens, he was released temporarily by Australian Rugby Union to allow him to join the Waratahs in their clash against the British & Irish Lions.
The tricky 24-year-old first emerged on the Super Rugby stage when debuting during the NSW Waratahs’ semi-final qualifier against the Blues in Auckland at the tail end of the 2011 competition, a match that was the last in the celebrated career of the former ‘Tahs skipper Phil Waugh.
He cemented a place in the backline last term, featuring predominantly from fullback, but also from flyhalf where he has been more permanently based this season.
Australian Sevens captain on the 2011-12 IRB World circuit, Foley made the mid-year Qantas Wallabies training group and came close to a Test debut when Berrick Barnes threatened to miss the Melbourne Test against Wales through the calling of fatherhood.
Had Barnes not made it on the flight back from Sydney after the birth of his first son Archie – and it was a close run thing with the flyhalf only arriving at the team hotel as the pre-game team meeting began – Foley would have been injected into the match night squad. He had been placed on stand-by when Barnes headed back to Sydney to witness the birth the previous afternoon, with the eventual Wallabies savior in that game Mike Harris, having been slated to move from the bench to the starting line-up.
Foley offers plenty of utility value, and has proved in Super Rugby that he has the ability to take his game to the next level. A constant attacking threat, Foley is a solid defender and has proved a safe pair of hands under the high ball.
Foley developed his craft rapidly after first gaining selection for the Australian Sevens side in 2009. His first start came at the season-opening tournament at Dubai and he went on to feature in all but the Hong Kong tournament on the 2009-10 world circuit, before winning selection for Australia’s silver-medal-winning Commonwealth Games team at the 2010 Games in New Delhi, India. That side included a number of players who either were, or have since gone on to become, established Wallabies including Lachie Turner and Nick Cummins.
Foley became a mainstay of the Australian Sevens side during his second year on the world circuit in 2010-11, with that status formally recognized when coach Michael O’Connor elevated him to the role as captain. Foley scored 26 tries on the 2010-11 circuit, which ranked eighth among all try-scorers for that term.