FORMER WARATAHS mentor Michael Foley has joined the Western Force coaching staff for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
Foley joins the Perth based team on a three-year contract from the Waratahs, where he spent three seasons as Assistant Coach before taking the reins of the side for the 2012 Super Rugby season.
The 45-year-old takes over from Richard Graham, who stood down as Head Coach in April this year.
Foley, a representative in two Australian Rugby World Cup campaigns, says he’s excited about the prospect of heading the Western Force.
“This is an important period for the club and while we’re not looking to start from scratch, we’re looking to relaunch the team,” he said. “There’s no doubt the club has had a few setbacks in recent times but there are many people at the club, both on and off the field, that are very determined to see the Force successful.
“While my expectations are realistic, I’m very excited about this challenge.
“Looking from afar it’s clear to see the Force has an outstanding supporter base and we’ll be doing what we can to not only engage with the supporters, but ensure they remain proud of their team – and part of this is working towards success with our fans.
The former Wallaby rake began his coaching career as Forwards Coach with English Premiership club, Bath in 2001. After one quarter-final (2001/02) and one semi-final (2005/06) finish in the Heineken Cup, and a minor premiership and final appearance in the 2003/04 Premiership season, Foley returned to Australia to oversee the Wallabies’ set piece.
He completed three seasons with the Wallabies, including the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, before joining the Waratahs.
His coaching followed an impressive playing career that included 63 Super Rugby and 111 state caps for Queensland, and 50 Test caps for Australia, including a starting berth in the Wallabies’ 1999 Rugby World Cup final win in Wales. He was also part of Australia’s series win over the British and Irish Lions in 2001.
Name: Michael Foley
Role: Head Coach
Previous Coaching Roles: 2012 Head Coach – NSW Waratahs, 2009-2011 Assistant Coach – NSW Waratahs, 2006-2008 Assistant Coach – Wallabies, 2001-2006 Forwards Coach – Bath
Clubs: 1985-1999 Queensland Reds
Honours: 1995-2001, Wallabies, 1985-1986 Australian Schoolboys