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Former Waratahs coach Foley to coach Force

Michael Foley announced he was leaving the Waratahs yesterday

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Article Published: Wednesday 1 August 2012|

Former Waratahs coach Michael Foley has been appointed Western Force Super Rugby coach on a three year contract starting from next season.

Foley will join the Force 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.

"It's my role to set up a program that builds towards success. The coaching staff will be looking to promote an exciting brand of rugby that captures the imagination of our fans and wins games as well. To that end, we will be looking to recruit an attacking coach with a record of producing that style of game.

"I want our fans to be excited about the style of footy we're playing and keen to be a part of the club. We need to be playing this brand of rugby to assist the club with our recruitment, retention and development, and we'll be working hard to ensure that the Force is a club that people are proud of and where players want to play."

The former Wallaby rake began his coaching career as Forwards Coach with UK 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.

"We're very pleased to welcome Michael Foley on board to lead the Western Force for 2013 and beyond," RugbyWA CEO Vern Reid said.

"We were very impressed by the calibre of candidates we had apply for the position. It was a long process but we're very pleased with the outcome and we're excited about having Michael at the head of our rugby program next year.

"There's no doubt that this is an important time for the club, and we're looking forward to Michael taking the club forward and realising the success that our members, players and everyone involved with the club deserves."

Michael Foley
Born: 07/06/1967
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
Playing Career
Position: Hooker
Clubs: 1985-1999 Queensland Reds
Honours: 1995-2001, Wallabies, 1985-1986 Australian Schoolboys

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