Foley returns following a concussion
Sydney - Australia flyhalf Bernard Foley has been selected
to make his return to Super Rugby for the Waratahs following an extended break
for a concussion.
Foley has missed the first four rounds of the tournament and
the Sydney-based Waratahs have struggled for direction, with heavy losses to
the Lions and Sharks and a 28-12 loss to the Canberra-based Brumbies following
their only win over the season in the opening match against the Force.
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has reshuffled his backline
ahead of Friday's match against the winless Melbourne Rebels, with Foley
returning at No 10 and fellow Wallabies Israel Folau and Rob Horne making
positional changes and Nick Phipps dropped to the reserves bench.
The experiment with Folau in the centres is over, at least
for now, with the powerful runner reverting to his more customary position at
fullback. Horne moved from the wing to the centres as cover for Folau.
"We need to get our combinations clicking. Up until now
we have been far too inconsistent and the mistakes have been on us to
fix," Gibson said. "We are pleased to have Bernard back. His absence
has certainly been felt in those first four rounds."
The Australian franchises have struggled badly so far,
combining for just five wins in the first four rounds - with Queensland's win
over the Sharks in the first round accounting for the only win over a
The Brumbies lead the Australian conference with 10 points
from two wins, but are in eighth place overall behind three New Zealand, three
South African teams and the Argentina-based Jaguares, who are in fourth spot.
Quade Cooper, Foley's main rival for the starting role at
flyhalf for Australia, was suspended this week for three matches for a
dangerous tackle in Queensland's 44-14 weekend loss to the Lions in
At least one of the five Australian franchises is in danger
of being shut down or merged amid a pending restructure of the Super Rugby
tournament, which has had 18 teams in four conferences for the 2016 and 2017