Foley says halves can still improve

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley says there’s still plenty of improvement left in his halves combination with Will Genia.

This season is the first the pair have played together as a regular starting combination for the Wallabies and while it was a smooth transition, Foley said on Wednesday they could still find more.

“The way we were able to get so many training reps in, I suppose, it didn’t feel raw to us, it just felt like we’d done in the past,” he said.

“I think it’s still growing, we’ve still got a fair bit to improve on and I think we can take it to another level for sure.”

“For a number of years, I had a lot of admiration of Will and knew his style of game and hopefully (that) it could work with my game.

“It’s been good to play a couple of Tests with him and hopefully grow this combination.

Genia, who has played the vast majority of his Super Rugby and Test career with Quade Cooper in the 10, said all four of the halves had used the last few months to get to know each other’s games.

“We’ve had so much time together in camp, you mix combinations. Sometimes he (Foley) trains with Nick (Phipps), I train with Quade and you just mix in and out,” he said.

“From a half back’s point of view, I think it’s been quite seamless and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to play with Foles.”

The pair have been linchpins for the Wallabies during the pool phases and when asked where he thought they could go, coach Michael Cheika was reluctant to put limits on any of his playmakers.

“I don’t really know what’s going to come from them except they’re working very hard, all four of our nines and 10s,” he said.

“They’re working hard at training and working hard together and against each other and all of them are pushing to play.

“(That shows in) a lot of the extras and just the things they’re doing on a day-to-day basis to try and improve themselves, whether it’s passing or kicking or their chat around bossing the team around.

“I’m, just like everyone in the team, looking to keep that energy going and there’s a lot of energy there.

“We’re just keeping everything pretty real, we’ve done nothing yet.”

Scotland will be without forwards Ross Ford and Jonny Gray for Sunday’s quarter-final, with the pair suspended for three weeks.

Wallabies David Pocock, Matt Giteau and Israel Folau all missed training on Tuesday but Cheika was positive the trio would be on the track at some point during Wednesday’s session.