'I think we've got a lot of optimism'

Australia's Bernard Foley is tackled by England's Mako Vunipola.
Australia's Bernard Foley is tackled by England's Mako Vunipola. WILL OLIVER

RUGBY UNION: Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley sees light at the end of the tunnel despite the Australian team enduring a tough year.

The only man to have played in all 15 Tests this year arrived with the squad in Sydney on Tuesday following the spring tour, on which the Wallabies beat France, Scotland and Wales but lost to Ireland and England.

Australia won only six of the 15 Tests in 2016 but Foley, one of coach Michael Cheika's go-to men in a difficult year, said there were plenty of positives.

"I think we've got a lot of optimism, you see how far this team has come,” he said.

"So many of the young guys got to debut this year and that's a great milestone.

"There was a lot of optimism when we first got together this year and realistically we were shut down pretty quickly and so we had to rebuild and face the challenges.

"I think out of those tough times and that adversity a lot of guys stood up and that's where I think the optimism and the potential going forward is.

"Those tough times I think have put us in a really good position for future success.”

Cheika did not fly home with the squad and is expected to return later this week.

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