New Foley deal not a 'one and done' scenario

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Bernard Foley says his new one-year deal doesn't necessarily spell a 2019 Rugby World Cup swansong.

Foley re-committed through to the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup but said there was no reason he wouldn't stay in Australia beyond that.

After the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a host of established players took up overseas offers but Foley is keeping his options open post-2019.

"The longer-term deal's not out of the picture," he said.

"I'm only here now for 12 months and looking forward to that first 12 months and putting everything into it and then what happens after that is going to happen.

"We'll have those discussions, they will have started but the priority was this 12 months, next World Cup and locking in to be a part of the Wallabies."

The 29-year-old has cemented himself as the Wallabies regular playmaker and despite some experimentation with Kurtley Beale at 10 it appears he will finish this season as the chief 10 again after returning to that spot against Argentina in Salta.

Foley 's announcement comes late in the season and leaves Israel Folau as the only big name left to commit to the World Cup after Michael Hooper signed a mammoth five-year deal in August.

"It was pretty much the only thing on my mind to play here next year," he said.

"It did take its time but mainly because of how busy our season's have been.

"I haven't really had much time off or time to really think about or sit down.

"For me, it's been great now that it's locked away and that we can really focus on going forward with this team, going into the last four games this year, performing as best as we can and then locking in for 2019 and it's going to be a massive year for rugby in Australia and that's what I'm really excited to be a part of."

Cheika said the one-year nature of the deal was a sign that Foley was keen to prove himself even now in his career.

"He has set himself a big challenge by going from year-to-year and I’m sure he’ll meet it," he said.

"I know he wants to play to his absolute potential and lead the current group into what is a big 2019 with the World Cup just around the corner. It’s also really important to him to leave a legacy for the next crop and inspire young Australians to wear the gold jersey."

Foley's announcement leaves Israel Folau as now the final off-contract star left to ink a new deal in 2018 after Michael Hooper signed a five-year contract in August.

The Wallabies leave for Japan on Saturday night ahead of the October 27 Test against the All Blacks.