Foley 'not worth risking' as concussion symptoms return

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs aren’t ready to risk Bernard Foley’s health as the flyhalf remains in doubt for the side’s clash with the Crusaders this Sunday.

Foley was cleared to play against the Rebels last Friday night but had a recurrence of symptoms afterward, with photosensitivity the giveaway.

"There's enough scary articles and different things out there and productions and film around concussion and it's an issue today that it didn't used to be,” Waratahs backs coach Chris Malone said.

"Therefore, from a coaching perspective, it's (only) a game at the end of the day.

"It's not worth risking the rest of someone's life for a game. - Chris Malone 

"I'm fully confident that in time, ‘Nard’ will be sweet. And that may well be tomorrow. That may well be the day after that.

"So we've just got to play it by ear and ensure that we look after him.”

Malone said Foley had not reported any kind of head knock from the game, but the playmaker was involved in a few crunching hits throughout the tight match.

Bryce Hegarty replaced Foley in the opening four matches of the year but David Horwitz could be the man to don the No.10 jersey against the Crusaders, with the Waratahs keeping an open mind.

Horwitz has slotted into first receiver plenty of times this season, even when playing alongside Foley last weekend, and Malone said he had impressed.

“We’re going to probably play around with some combinations in training to ensure we get a repeat of the team performance we got from last weekend,” he said.

“As the week goes on, we’ll clarify exactly how we go in terms of our makeup if Bernard’s not there.

“He (Horwitz) played well last week, he did, and he stepped up into first receiver a lot, probably touched the ball more times than Bernard did.

“(There’s been) good growth from Dave and he’s really come along in terms of being in the squad.

“Then there’s Bryce, there’s Irae Simone who can come back into the team. There’s also Mack Mason and Andrew Deegan, a couple of younger guys, No.10s, we’ve just to figure out what’s our best configuration, what’s going to make the team tick the best because obviously importantly this week we want a big team performance against the Crusaders.”

Rob Horne sat out training for the second day in a row on Tuesday, and though he is in no official doubt, his possible absence could open the door for Israel Folau to wear No.13 and Cam Clark to fill the fullback spot. 

The Waratahs take on the Crusaders on Sunday afternoon, kicking off at 4:05pm AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on