Waratahs captaincy helps Foley move on from June

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The responsibility of the Waratahs captaincy has pulled Bernard Foley out of a post-June ‘flat’ period, the playmaker says.

Foley said there was an overwhelming feeling of disappointment among the Wallabies, after a heartbreaking 2-1 series loss to Ireland, but the need to inject himself straight back into the NSW fold helped change his mindset.

The added news of taking over the captaincy from the injured Michael Hooper only enhanced that sense.

“We had a couple of days to digest the last couple of weeks, which was pretty tough,” he said.

“To be honest, the start of this week I've been pretty flat, so speaking to Daryl and the coaches last night, it's a really good honour and something to refocus coming back in here to this environment and just being around the squad, they're so excited to be back together as a full squad and to have a game Friday night, it's no easy way to refocus.”

Bernard Foley said he was flat after the Ireland series. Photo: Getty ImagesFoley and his fellow Wallabies only returned to their Super Rugby teams on Tuesday, with only two days of training to prepare for a crunch match with the Waratahs.

That short turnaround, though, was a blessing in disguise, helping them to move on from the Wallabies series.

“I think if you've got longer, you probably dwell on it longer,” he said.

“So, this one, although we were flat and disappointed, I think you have to change your mentality pretty quickly, you're forced to.

“That's the exciting thing, we get to go and run out again in two days' time and then you're back into a new environment.

“Our own challenges we've got to learn different terminology and just be around the enthusiasm of the rest of the squad, who have for three weeks they've had disrupted training sessions, had a trip to Japan.

“To come back in and know we've only got a short period of time as a squad left and we want to maximise the most out of that, so it is pretty exciting to be back together.”

Though Michael Hooper, who has missed just 53 minutes since joining the Waratahs, will be sidelined for Friday night's clash, but Foley said he certainly wasn't sitting idly by.

Michael Hooper watches on after suffering a hamstring injury. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyHooper was one of the first Waratahs at Daceyville on Wednesday, despite only being in the early stages of rehab, and Foley said he was on the grill for his teammates too.

“Ever since 2013 when he joined here, I don't think he's missed a game,” he said.

“He's a little bit frustrated. I think he's already back in the gym. He's meant to have rehab for six or so weeks and they were giving him a couple of days off but he's back in the gym, he's not someone who enjoys having time off.

“He was in this morning cooking breakfast for us all. To have him around the squad, I don't think his role will change off the field which is exciting.”

The Waratahs take on the Rebels on Friday night, at AAMI Park, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.