Australian flyhalf Bernard Foley is eager to make a positive impression after earning a surprise recall to the Wallabies squad to face the Springboks after three years in the international wilderness.
Foley earned the last of his 71 Test caps for Australia in the 2019 World Cup before falling out of favour towards the end of former coach Michael Cheika’s reign and departing for Japan.
The 31-year-old has been called up to the squad following a season-ending injury to Quade Cooper, while James O’Connor was dropped due to poor form.
This has left Foley as Australia’s only experienced flyhalf option for back-to-back Tests against the Boks and then New Zealand.
“I’m pretty excited and grateful to have that second opportunity,” Foley, a World Cup finalist in 2015, told reporters from Queensland on Monday.
“[The World Cup] is definitely on the radar, but I’m just in here on day one trying to connect with the guys and find out how we want to play.
“There’s a lot of footy and a lot of time between now and then, so, it’s the cliche, but I’m just taking it day to day.”
Foley said that he has been impressed by the unity within the Wallabies squad under Dave Rennie, especially compared to his experience during the humiliating 2019 World Cup campaign, which ended in a quarter-final exit.
“[It] was completely different to what we’re talking about now, the intention and purpose was right back then, just the execution and gameplan,” he said.
“I think we were in a place where we cared too much, we were trying to force what happened … the intent was all right but just the execution and the way we wanted to carry it out.”
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