Top Waratahs back coach Foley
Senior Waratahs players have backed their Super Rugby coach Michael Foley, who says it will be up to others to decide if he holds his job.
NSW are out of Super Rugby finals contention with three games to play, having lost five successive matches and slumping to 11th on the ladder.
Injured skipper Rocky Elsom supported Foley but wasn’t surprised at the mounting speculation over his coach’s job.
“It’s to be expected. You don’t get results, you look at the guys in the team and obviously Foles is a part of that,” Elsom told AAP on Monday after the team arrived back from South Africa.
“Of course he has the players’ support, but you can expect those kinds of comments.”
Prop and acting skipper Benn Robinson also stressed Foley enjoyed total backing from his playing group.
“We’ve got 100 per cent support behind Foles,” Robinson said.
Asked if he was completely confident he would continue in his role Foley said: “I wouldn’t necessarily say that, I think that’s up to other people to decide”.
Waratahs officials stressed there would be no emergency board meeting on Tuesday, as had been reported in at least one newspaper.
Questioned whether he thought he had the support of the board, Foley said: “That’s something they would have to answer and I’m not going to speculate on that”.
However Foley was adamant speculation over his position was neither distracting nor disconcerting.
“The rumours you can get past in the sense that you are more focused on trying to get the result,” Foley said.
Foley and Robinson emphasised the Waratahs would not lack motivation in their remaining games despite no longer having the incentive of making the finals.
“I believe the appetite is undiminished for the contest, we’re incredibly disappointed with the results, but desperate to go out there and turn that around,” Foley said.
Former Wallabies’ skipper Elsom, who is unsure how long his current shoulder injury will keep him out, was omitted from the Australian train-on squad announced on Sunday.
Wallabies’ coach Robbie Deans said he hoped Elsom still saw himself as part of the group if it was something he still felt passionate about.
Asked if he still had the passion to play for Australia Elsom said: “Yes of course”.
Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell, who made his comeback from an ankle injury last weekend, could play club rugby during the Super Rugby break as he looks to push for a Test recall later in the year.
“I think certainly the (Rugby) Championship wouldn’t be out of the realms of possibility (for my Test comeback),” Mitchell said.© AAP 2013
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