Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Foley named Waratahs head coach

Michael Foley
Michael Foley

Michael Foley will replace Chris Hickey as head coach of the Waratahs for the next three seasons.

Foley, a former Australia hooker, has served as Waratahs forwards coach since 2009 following a stint on the Wallabies staff. His promotion follows an 'international search' for a new head coach after Hickey opted not to pursue a contract extension.

The Waratahs have been heavily criticised for their dour approach in recent seasons, but Foley has vowed to bring back entertaining rugby. He said: "I think where we've fallen down is in some games we haven't been flexible enough in how we've played...but when you look at the playing squad itself the quality of the guys is extremely high."

He added: "We're bringing on probably one of the world's leading backs and attack coaches in Alan Gaffney and I think that's a significant statement about where we're headed with our footy.

"And it's very, very important to us as a team that we play a type of footy that our fans want to come and watch."

Hickey, who led the 'Tahs to a 64% winning ratio in his three years at the helm, says it was simply time to move on.

"I think when you're coaching any team there's a period of time that you can be very effective and I think part of the thing you have to identify is when it's time for a change," Hickey said.

"After three years it's probably time to make that change, to have some new ideas and some energy come into the coaching group.

"And I also was very confident with Michael Foley that we had the opportunity to make a really smooth transition that would ensure the future success of the Waratahs."

Alan Gaffney, who was also interviewed for the top job, has been appointed as attack coach.

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