Foley ready for Barrett test

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Clear of concussion symptoms, Bernard Foley is ready for a duel with All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett on Friday.

Foley is confident he is out of the woods, after missing his fifth game in six weeks against the Crusaders, and optimistic about the Waratahs’ chances in Wellington on Saturday.

“It wasn’t actually bruising of the brain or the concussion, it was more stemming from the neck and inner ear,” he said.

“That’s a pleasing thing and (that there were) no ongoing symptoms.

“(I had a bit of) light sensitivity and pressure in the head, it’s something that came back and it's disappointing but you can’t do anything about it.”

The Waratahs won their most recent trip to Wellington, beating the Hurricanes 29-24 on that day in 2015, but were beaten in Sydney last year.

Beauden Barrett in action when the Waratahs beat the Hurricanes in 2015. Photo: Getty ImagesFoley said that 2015 journey, a win led by a rampaging Wycliff Palu, gave them some kind of blueprint for victory.

“I think that night it was really led by our forwards, I know Cliffy Palu really led the charge to go after them and really disrupt their way of playing,” he said.

“Every time we’ve played the Hurricanes it’s a really tightly contested game and their structures, their systems and what they like to do.

“It’s all about going over there, having the right intent and nullifying their threats and disrupting their game.

“Because if you let them play the way they want to play and the style, they’ll just gel off that and really relish  the quick ball and we’ve got.”

After six weeks without a Kiwi opponent, the Waratahs now face two in two weeks, with the Hurricanes clash following last week’s Crusaders loss, a chance Foley said the team would relish.

“We've reviewed the crucial moments or the big decision or moments that put ourselves out of the game and let them get back on top,” he said.

“For us it’s exciting for us to come up against another Kiwi team and play against a team who have been the benchmark of the competition.”

The Waratahs’ preparations were hit with a blow, after Rob Horne was ruled out following Wednesday’s training.

Horne missed the clash with the Crusaders, suffering a hamstring injury, and was named in the team on Wednesday morning, before training.

That puts another spanner in the works for the Waratahs, with Israel Folau moved out of 15 and into the midfield and Bryce Hegarty stepping into 15, in favour of Andrew Kellaway.

Irae Simone comes onto the bench with the changes.


IN: Bryce Hegarty, Sam Needs, Bernard Foley

OUT: Reece Robinson, Tom Robertson, Mack Mason

Waratahs team to face the Hurricanes

1. Paddy Ryan

2. Tolu Latu

3. Sekope Kepu

4. Dean Mumm

5. Will Skelton

6. Ned Hanigan

7. Michael Hooper (c)

8. Michael Wells

9. Jake Gordon

10. Bernard Foley

11. Cam Clark

12. David Horwitz

13. Israel Folau

14. Taqele Naiyaravoro

15.  Bryce Hegarty


16. Damien Fitzpatrick

17. Sam Needs

18. David Lolohea

19. David McDuling

20.  Jed Holloway

21. Nick Phipps

22. Irae Simone

23.  Andrew Kellaway