The NSW Waratahs can confirm that Bernard Foley will depart to pursue opportunities overseas, following nine years and a Super Rugby Championship in sky blue.
The flyhalf leaves Daceyville having amassed some incredible numbers in Super Rugby, including 119 caps and 1095 points.
Beginning his career in sevens, Foley was a silver medallist with the Australian Men’s Team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and was named the 2011 Australian Sevens Player of the Year.
After making his debut against the Blues in Auckland in 2011, Foley now sits inside the top ten on the NSW Waratahs all-time appearance list and is the most-capped flyhalf in the organisation’s history.
After impressing at Super Rugby level Foley quickly went onto earn his first Test cap against Argentina in 2013, and today sits within an illustrious group of players to have scored more than 500 Test points.
Foley will forever remain in NSW Waratahs folklore after delivering the state’s first Super Rugby Championship, courtesy of a heart-stopping injury time penalty to down the Crusaders at 33-32 at Allianz Stadium.
He followed that stellar season with some crucial performances at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, notching an Australian record 28 points against the tournament hosts and nailing a last-minute penalty to propel Australia into the semi-finals.
As his career progressed Foley quickly became a leader within the NSW Waratahs set up, serving as vice-captain for a number of years as well as leading his state on several occasions.
Foley confirmed the news prior to the Qantas Wallabies trip to South Africa for their opening Rugby Championship fixture, speaking with NSW Rugby Union about his decision.
“It’s not been an easy decision and one that took a great deal of thought, but to be moving on from the Waratahs is certainly a bittersweet feeling,” Foley said.
“The Waratahs gave me my first opportunity at professional rugby and I’ve grown so much as a player and a person during my time here, playing with some of the game’s greats and making friendships that will last a lifetime.
“It’s been a privilege to represent this great state and my family and friends. I’d like to thank the coaches who have supported me and the teammates I’ve played with over the years.
“Our fans have been exceptional during my time here and I’d like to thank them for their support, I look forward to cheering on the boys with them well into the future.
“I’ve loved every minute of my time here, but I’ve got a new challenge in front of me and I’m looking forward to that as well.”
NSW Rugby Union’s General Manager of Rugby, Tim Rapp thanked Foley for the contribution he has made to the NSW Waratahs.
“Bernard has been an important part of the Waratahs for the best part of a decade,” said Rapp.
“He’s been a consistent performer at the highest level for a long period, and ultimately his numbers speak for themselves – he’s achieved a lot of great things for the Waratahs and we certainly appreciate that.
“The quality of his character and the value he adds to a team environment will certainly be missed, he’s a great guy who is well-liked and respected right across NSW Rugby.
“We’re obviously disappointed to see him go but it’s a competitive marketplace, particularly at the end of a World Cup cycle. Everyone at NSW Rugby wishes Bernard all the best at both the World Cup and in the next chapter in his career.”