Foley may rotate Waratahs forwards

By Adrian Warren,

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27 Have your say

    NSW Waratahs coach Michael Foley is considering a rotation policy to ease the burden on his forwards, but No.8 Wycliff Palu is keen to play more minutes.

    Foley started the same tight five and blindside flanker for each of his team’s first six Super Rugby games.

    But with skipper and flanker Rocky Elsom likely to return from a hamstring injury in the next couple of weeks and lock Sitaleki Timani having been back in the fold for a few weeks following a stint in Japan, Foley will have more scope to rotate his forwards.

    “There’s going to be the opportunity to rotate some of those guys and we’ll definitely be considering that on a week-to-week basis,” said Foley ahead of his side’s clash with the Force in Perth on Friday following a bye.

    Powerful No.8 Palu, who missed a significant part of last season due to shoulder and knee issues, is one man craving more, rather than less, playing time.

    Regarded as a great impact player, Palu has invariably been replaced early in the second half of the four Super games he has played this season.

    He said he wanted to play as much as he could and insisted he could last a full 80 minutes.

    “Yeah, definitely, that’s still a goal of mine,” Palu said of lasting until the final whistle.

    “It’s just a slow process and hopefully this week I’ll get a bit more time and go from there.”

    Palu is certainly in a much better physical condition than last year, when he won a battle with the clock to make the World Cup, only to come home early from that tournament with a hamstring strain.

    “The body is feeling really good actually, compared to this time last year it’s definitely miles ahead,” Palu said.

    “Last year I finished sessions and wake up in the morning and think ‘far out, the body is not feeling too good.’

    “I just never thought I would have that feeling of feeling good, but I’ve got that now.”

    The Waratahs are just two points off the conference-leading Brumbies, despite losing four of their first six games.

    Palu was a little surprised NSW were still right up there despite their patchy start to the campaign.

    “In the last couple of years it would have been hard to get back or you would have been way out of it, but we’ve still got a chance,” Palu said.

    Utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper didn’t train on Monday after being struck on the hip pointer last week by newly recruited hooker Josh Mann-Rea.

    “Josh was severely reprimanded for that, tackling a back at a training session,” Foley joked.

    “But Adam will be OK.”

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    The Crowd Says (27)

    • April 10th 2012 @ 10:23am
      jameswm said | April 10th 2012 @ 10:23am | ! Report

      They need to rotate Mumm out of the 22 for the next 11 games or so.

      I remain stunned at the amount of time he gets.

    • April 10th 2012 @ 11:26am
      Blinky Bill of Bellingen said | April 10th 2012 @ 11:26am | ! Report

      It seems unbelievable that we are this far into the season & still awaiting players to make their first appearance.

      The rotational policy is of course a great way of dealing with such a long and demanding season. I have to wonder how Foley & the Tahs would have gone if they started with their full compliment of fit and healthy troops.

      Trouble is I can’t decide whether it’s ‘just Rugby’ or mismanagement.

    • April 10th 2012 @ 12:02pm
      Justin said | April 10th 2012 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

      Whats the story with Elsom? Hasnt played S15 in 2 years basically, only seems fit for when AUS are playing. No doubt the Brumbies are happy he is not their issue anymore… Has to be the longest out for a hamstring in history!

      • April 10th 2012 @ 1:24pm
        Markus said | April 10th 2012 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

        As far as I can tell, Elsom’s hamstring is so bad that it can never really fully recover so it is being managed instead.
        ‘Managed’ being media talk to mean that his hammy now only has x minutes worth of gametime in it each year before he is crocked again, so he has to pick and choose which games he is able to play.

        • April 10th 2012 @ 5:03pm
          jameswm said | April 10th 2012 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

          Nah it’s not that. He keeps feeling twinges and is mentally scarred by the injury.

          He needs to get over it, or find something else to do. Shocking decision by the Tahs to sign him. With Dennis and Timani Jnr, they just don’t need him.

    • April 10th 2012 @ 12:17pm
      kingplaymaker said | April 10th 2012 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

      If Foley makes Elsom and Mumm keep the Timanis out, preventing their development, game-time and therefore their readiness for use in this international season, and thereby blooding for the Lions, it will be a catastrophe for the Wallabies.

      • April 10th 2012 @ 5:04pm
        jameswm said | April 10th 2012 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

        Bugger that KPM. It’s a disaster for the Tahs. Mumm is just useless. How he keeps STimani out is totally beyond me.

        • April 10th 2012 @ 6:07pm
          Blinky Bill of Bellingen said | April 10th 2012 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

          Yeah but what about ‘that fend’? 🙂

          • April 11th 2012 @ 10:25am
            jameswm said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            That’s what keeps him there!

    • April 10th 2012 @ 3:27pm
      dcnz said | April 10th 2012 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

      yep it will be a disgrace if Rocky makes the Wallabies…i think his form has been on a downward spiral anyways…

    • April 10th 2012 @ 6:36pm
      Crashy said | April 10th 2012 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

      When is vickerman back? It will be a very different comp after the June internationals when some teams will have some players back and some will have more injuries after the internationals. I am somewhat concerned about a Scottish ambush though it would be good to get up to Newcastle for the game. It will be ingesting to see how the waratahs team vs the lions goes next year as we are building some good depth in the pigs and the backs – such is the curse of injuries….

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