In demand five-eighth Bernard Foley expects he might get mentally drained during the coming Super Rugby season.
But he’s excited by the challenge of trying to stay refreshed through a demanding cycle of near non-stop rugby over two years.
The Wallaby and NSW Waratahs’ playmaker went from last year’s Super campaign into the World Cup and then into a stint with Japanese club Ricoh Black Rams.
Foley will have had only around four weeks off by the time he plays in the Waratahs’ final trial.
“It’s the unknown for me at the moment. I haven’t had to do it in the past,” Foley said on Wednesday.
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge – maybe sometimes I will be a bit mentally drained.
“But I think it’s going to be exciting for me to stay refreshed and, going from different programs, it allows me to keep that mental, freshness.
“There’s definitely a lot more challenges that I’ve put on myself and to keep reinvigorated and keep challenging myself to be a better player.”
He expressed no fears about potential physical fatigue and wasn’t looking at the option of being rested, but would keep Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson updated about his condition.
“We definitely did speak of monitoring and having a communication throughout the season and Daryl has been very open in discussions with me,” Foley said.
“I suppose it’s for me to identify if I’m not feeling that spark or having a bit of a lull physically.
“At the moment, we haven’t spoken of a contingency plan, but I think I’d be raring to go.”
The first Wallaby on a flexible contract to have an overseas sabbatical, Foley endorsed the concept, saying playing in Japan had been a great experience.
“I would thoroughly recommend it in the fact that you can go and experience rugby in a different culture,” Foley said.
“But in saying that, you’ve also got to be playing and maintaining your performance. You have to be at the peak of your game whenever you play and that’s going to be the challenge this year and I’m looking forward to that.”
Foley took a lot of confidence out of his form at the World Cup where he was one of Australia’s best players.
“For me, this year is really more about cementing myself in that Wallabies jersey and just being an integral member of that squad,” Foley said.
He isn’t taking the Waratahs’ No.10 jersey for granted, saying there is great competition with fellow Wallaby Kurtley Beale who is likely to play there in Friday’s trial.
“Taking that 10 jersey off him (Beale) might be tough, but I think that’s exciting going into that environment,” Foley said.
He was also thrilled by the prospect of marshalling some exciting new Waratahs backline combinations, with Gibson looking at trialling Beale at fullback and moving Israel Folau from 15 to outside centre.