Force on the hunt for a new coach

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Western Force is looking for a new coach, after axing Michael Foley on Thursday.

Foley took over the top job in 2013 , with the Force winning 18 of  60 matches under Foley's reign, a winning percentage of just 30 per cent.

His best season was 2014, in which the side finished eighth with a 9-7 record.

Foley's contract had been extended until the end of 2017 but it has been mutually agreed that he would step away from the role.

RugbyWA CEO Mark Sinderberry said with the Force out of the finals race, it was time to start anew.

“Michael is a fine Coach and has done a good job in his four years with the team considering some of the obvious challenges he’s faced," he said.

“We would have liked to have had more success during this time but the Western Force also had its most successful season under Michael in 2014.

“With the team out of contention for finals, it was appropriate timing for both parties to look to the future and that’s why we have agreed to part ways.

“We wish Michael all the best for the future and will commence a process together with the ARU to appoint a new Head Coach for the 2017 season.”

The former Waratahs head coach and Wallabies assistant went straight into coaching after retiring in 2001.

Foley began his coaching career at Bath, working as the English side's forwards coach until he was called up to the Wallabies set-up.

The former hooker was a national assistant for five years, leading the forwards.

After taking up a forwards role at NSW, Foley was elevated to the head spot in 2012 but headed west after leading the NSW franchise to the worst record in its history.

The Force will begin the hunt for a new mentor immediately, with assistant Dave Wessels serving as interim in the meantime.