He’s big in Japan: Bernard Foley does all he can to convince Eddie of World Cup worth with title win


Bernard Foley has guided his team to a gripping title win in Japan Rugby League One with a performance that’s sure to resonate with Wallabies coach Eddie Jones.

A try by winger Haruto Kida – his 17th of the season – 11 minutes from fulltime gave Foley’s team, the Kubota Spears a 17-15 win over the favoured Saitama Wild Knights, featuring Marika Koroibete.

Foley kicked three first half penalty goals and added a fourth just after the re-start in a nerveless display before the Wild Knights responded through a try by veteran hooker Shota Horie, 18 minutes into the second period.

That set the scene for a frantic last quarter and Wild Knights’ winger Tomoki Osada scored to give his side the lead for the first time with 15 minutes to play.

Brave Blossoms flyhalf Takuya Yamasawa was unable to convert, and while the try put the Wild Knights in front 15-12, they led for just four minutes before Kida crossed for what proved to be the championship-winning score.

When Eddie Jones took over the Wallabies coaching position he told the players that their performances would define their selection hopes for the World Cup.

Foley has excelled in Japan’s top division and Jones faces a big selection call on the No.10 that could come down to Giteau Law considerations for the Rugby Championship.

Quade Cooper is also back in fitness and Jones has opted to select him for a Barbarians tussle with a World XV next weekend.

Meanwhile Samu Kerevi got through 70 minutes as Suntory Sungoliath lost the third lace playoff to Yokohama Eagles.

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