Western Force legend Nathan Sharpe has hailed the technical skills and people management of Michael Foley, the coach charged with reviving the ailing Super Rugby franchise.
Foley’s appointment on Wednesday ended a tumultuous season for the Force, who finished second last on the Super ladder with just three wins.
Coach Richard Graham left mid-season after it was revealed he was heading to Queensland for 2013 while captain and flanker David Pocock last weekend announced he would be joining the Brumbies.
With a Force backline short of class and key lock Sharpe retiring, Foley has jumped from the frying pan into the fire after leaving NSW, who won just one more game than the Force.
Sharpe believed Foley’s arrival, plus the appointment of Wallabies flanker Matt Hodgson as the new captain, represented positives for the struggling franchise.
“I think his technical ability is outstanding and his man management is very good as well,” Sharpe said.
“A lot of the guys over there have played under him and they are all very excited about him coming across, so it’s worked out well for the Force.
“Even though it’s been an arduous process, it’s been a good result for us.”
Sharpe is relocating to Queensland for work reasons but stressed he still plans to have some role with the Force.
“Once the organisation gets some stability and some direction as to how they want to operate, then I’ll have a chat to them, but certainly I do intend to be around the traps with the Force.”