Foley wants full-on return

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Bernard Foley says he won’t be easing back into the Waratahs fold if he plays this weekend.

While the playmaker stopped just short of declaring himself a certain start for the Reds match, the 26-year-old was confident he would survive a full game.

Foley said he expected to wear a target alongside the number 10 on his back at Suncorp Stadium.

“I suppose it will be a good test for my shoulder and I’m sure the Reds will probably send a bit of traffic that way but I’m putting my hand up to play 80 minutes,” he said.

“There’s no room to be carrying an extra back or an inside back at that so for me I’m confident I can go and play the full 80.”

Foley’s injury ended a run of 64 consecutive Waratahs matches and the Wallabies flyhalf said it had given him a rare outsider’s look at the team he has controlled for much of the past three seasons.

“I suppose watching on the sideline you get to see the game a bit differently,” he said.

“Being involved so heavily the last couple of years you don’t get that (wider) idea and it’s a lot easier to say it from the sidelines and to see things and try and adapt it (the game).

With a new coach and a relatively new-look backline, Foley said that spectators’ perspective would help him transition back into the side.

“We've adapted and evolved the game from the last couple of seasons so getting an idea from the sidelines watching, asking questions has probably allowed me to understand that style of play rather than going straight back in.”

From that outside perspective, Foley said he had seen potential in the side going forward ,despite a 1-2 record to start the year.

“You can’t question the hard work and the intent and the energy levels the Waratahs have (brought), “he said.

“I suppose it’s been a little bit to our own detriment. We’ve worked so hard to the point that we probably played into the Highlanders’ hands trying to play so attacking.

“I think with the leadership and the hard work we’ve done in this team it’s probably setting us up well for the next couple of games.”

The layoff has also given a Foley a more temporary addition.

“I’ve been able to grow a beard for once,” he said.

“I’m actually looking forward to playing the game and then I can shave my beard off.

“I lost a bet so I had to keep the beard until I returned so lucky it wasn’t a six-month injury or something like that.”

The Reds take on the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, kicking off at 4:05pm AEDT.