The Waratahs have confirmed that Wallabies playmaker Bernard Foley will head overseas after the Rugby World Cup in Japan, though his destination still remains a mystery.
The flyhalf has spent the past nine Super Rugby seasons at the Waratahs and spent one season in Japan with Ricoh Black Rams following the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Bernard Foley will depart the NSW Waratahs to pursue opportunities overseas, following nine years and a Super Rugby Championship in sky blue.— NSW Waratahs (@NSWWaratahs) July 11, 2019
Read more 👉 https://t.co/P2wWKeWBND#ForTheLoveOfRugby 💙🏉 pic.twitter.com/HxUELRIxj1
Foley is the New South Wales’ sides most-capped flyhalf of all time with almost 180 caps since his debut against the Blues back in 2011 and will leave a huge a huge dearth of experience in Australia’s ranks.
“It’s not been an easy decision and one that took a great deal of thought, but to be moving on from the Waratahs is certainly a bittersweet feeling,” Foley told the Waratahs’ website.
“The Waratahs gave me my first opportunity at professional rugby and I’ve grown so much as a player and a person during my time here, playing with some of the game’s greats and making friendships that will last a lifetime.
“It’s been a privilege to represent this great state and my family and friends. I’d like to thank the coaches who have supported me and the teammates I’ve played with over the years.
“Our fans have been exceptional during my time here and I’d like to thank them for their support, I look forward to cheering on the boys with them well into the future.
“I’ve loved every minute of my time here, but I’ve got a new challenge in front of me and I’m looking forward to that as well.”
Foley is the latest Waratah to confirm his departure, following Curtis Rona, Nick Phipps and Sekope Kepu. He also joins flyhalves Quade Cooper, Christian Leali'ifano and Duncan Paia'aua who are all leaving their respective Super Rugby sides at the end of the season.
NSW Rugby Union’s general manager of rugby Tim Rapp was quick to praise Foley.
“Bernard has been an important part of the Waratahs for the best part of a decade,” he said.
“He’s been a consistent performer at the highest level for a long period, and ultimately his numbers speak for themselves – he’s achieved a lot of great things for the Waratahs and we certainly appreciate that.
“The quality of his character and the value he adds to a team environment will certainly be missed, he’s a great guy who is well-liked and respected right across NSW Rugby.
“We’re obviously disappointed to see him go but it’s a competitive marketplace, particularly at the end of a World Cup cycle. Everyone at NSW Rugby wishes Bernard all the best at both the World Cup and in the next chapter in his career.”
With 68 test caps to his name, Foley could still represent the Wallabies following the World Cup as he meets the requirements for players based abroad.