Michael Foley has handed in his resignation as Waratahs coach, the Super Rugby club confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.
Widespread reports in the Australian press claim Foley will now take over the helm at the Western Force next season. Foley’s decision to stand down comes just 24 hours after NSW chairman Ed Zemancheff quit his role, leaving the franchise to pick up the pieces after their worst season the the field.
Waratahs officials had previously endorsed Foley to continue next season, but it is believed that a recent shake up of the coaching staff – including the departure of manager Chris Webb – forced Foley to move on.
“I’d like to thank the organisation and team for their support throughout my time here, particularly over the past season,” Foley said.
“While it’s been a challenging season for everyone, being involved over the last four years has been extremely rewarding, particularly being part of a team that was able to play in two finals series.
“I believe that the squad and organisation has the potential to turn it around and I wish everyone the best for next season.”
The Waratahs confirmed they will begin the search for a replacement immediately following Foley’s announcement.
“I would like to thank Michael Foley for his dedication and commitment to the team and the organisation, not just over the past year but throughout his time with NSW. We wish him and his family all the best for the future.
“We firmly believe that this position is a highly sought-after role and will begin the appointment process with immediate effort,” said board member Al Baxter.
The Force, meanwhile, have reportedly offered the former Wallabies hooker a three-year contract in Perth from next season.