PERTH - Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley admits his surprise Bledisloe benching was a bitter pill to swallow, but believes it will only drive him to be a better Test player in the long run.
Foley has been promoted back into the No.10 jersey for Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against South Africa in Perth at the expense of NSW Waratahs teammate Kurtley Beale.
Beale's initial selection at No.10 for the two Bledisloe Cup clashes came as a shock to many, especially considering he had been playing at inside centre all season.
That was compounded by the fact that Foley had not only just led and kicked the Waratahs to a maiden Super Rugby title days prior, but also steered the Wallabies with aplomb two months earlier in the three-Test cleansweep of France.
"Off the back end of it all it definitely was something to swallow," Foley said.
"There was a bit of disappointment there for a second, as every player would (feel) when they get dropped, but then I focused on my role, digested it and looked forward to it. In a day or two and you get over it. You're still representing your country, you're on the bench and you still have a job to do.
"Going forward that's always going to drive me to be a better player."
While Foley is excited to be back in the No.10 jersey for the Boks, he was at pains not to detract from Beale's temporary custodianship of the role.
"To come back in and have those familiar faces around is definitely a lot more settling," Foley said.