NEW DEAL: Bernard Foley has signed a contract to stay in Australian rugby.
NEW DEAL: Bernard Foley has signed a contract to stay in Australian rugby. GETTY IMAGES

Japanese clause to keep Foley at home

WALLABIES coach Michael Cheika says the flexible contract signed by Waratahs playmaker Bernard Foley will be available to only a select few players.

In an effort to stem the flow of talent overseas, particularly to cashed-up French clubs, Foley signed an extension with the Australian Rugby Union until at least the end of 2018 that allows him to also spend two seasons in the Japanese domestic competition.

Responding to concerns about potential burnout, Cheika said the option would be offered only in "exceptional circumstances".

Foley told reporters he was confident his body would stand up to the rigours of year-round competition. "It obviously comes down to myself - putting myself in the right position and looking after myself to get through the workloads that are going to be required," the 25-year-old said. "I know my body."

Foley played in every game of the Tahs' Super Rugby title-winning season in 2014, booting the last-minute 44m penalty goal that gave his side a 33-32 grand final win over the Crusaders.

He made his Super Rugby debut for NSW against Auckland in the 2011 semi-finals, just 12 months after winning a silver medal with the Australian sevens team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

He was included in the Wallabies squad for the 2012 Test series against Scotland and Wales after just 11 appearances for his state, eventually making his debut for Australia against Argentina in Rosario during the 2013 Rugby Championship.

The Waratahs will take on the unbeaten Hurricanes in Wellington tomorrow, determined to bounce back from last Saturday's shock 32-18 loss to the Stormers in Sydney.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders face a crucial match-up against the Chiefs in Christchurch tonight.

The Crusaders are now in must-win territory with a 4-4 record, following last Saturday night's 25-20 loss to the Highlanders.

The Christchurch-based team, which has made the finals in the past 13 consecutive seasons, will regain All Blacks champions Richie McCaw and Dan Carter.

Fellow All Black Sonny Bill Williams will return from a knee injury for the Chiefs, and will be matched up against Carter, who will be in the No.12 rather than his usual No.10 jersey.

The Chiefs are second - behind the Hurricanes - on the New Zealand conference, and beat the Crusaders 40-16 when the teams met in Hamilton in round three.

Round 10 draw (home teams first): Crusaders v Chiefs, Hurricanes v Waratahs, Highlanders v Blues, Brumbies v Rebels, Force v Stormers, Sharks v Bulls, Cheetahs v Reds.


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