Kurtley Beale will retain NSW playmaking duties after Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley was ruled out of the Waratahs’ Super Rugby showdown with defending champions the Highlanders on Friday night.
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Foley had been rated a 50-50 prospect to return from the shoulder injury that has prevented him from playing this season, but assistant coach Nathan Grey said on Tuesday he was still not quite ready.
Foley suffered the injury in a pre-season trial against the Highlanders last month in New Zealand after his return from a stint in Japanese club rugby.
“Those type of injuries, you’re good to go or you’re not,” Grey said.
“So you can get through the contact at training and you’re ready to go, or you can’t, and he hasn’t so he’s unavailable.
“I don’t think it’s a setback in terms of the planning. It was always going to be there or thereabouts this week or next week.
“So while it’s out of control, what we can control is how we prepare and the other guys are ready to go and are looking forward to it.”
Foley completed much of the Waratahs’ session on Tuesday and, with a nine-day turnaround until their next game, Grey is confident the star 10 will be back for the round-five derby against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Sunday week.
“I’m pretty sure he should be ready next week. It’s a short-term injury,” Grey said.
“He trained pretty well today but he was in the red bib so hands were off Bernard today – no contact – so we’ve just got to grade that up during the next week and see how he goes.”