By Elliot Raiter
Road Safety Western Force local product Luke Burton couldn’t be a better example as to why the WA club should be retained in the Vodafone Super Rugby Competition.
Born and bred in the West, Burton has climbed the ranks to reach his dream and he hopes many youngsters will be able to do the same.
“The Force has been massive since they came in 2006, they gave me a dream,” he said.
“When I was 14 they picked me up in the academy, I made it through the systems.
“Without the Force I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Burton can’t fathom a world without the WA franchise, lamenting that the decision would be a major loss for the state and rugby in general
“It will be heartbreaking, a dream killer. There won’t be any real opportunity to play and represent their state. Players will have to go over east or play AFL and Soccer.”
Despite all the attention directed at the Road Safety Western Force this week, the flyhalf believes the organisation is in a positive place, with renewed hope and optimism towards the future.
“The club is really positive, we are a very tight group with a strong culture. It is a culture of brotherhood, we are dedicated to staying together and getting wins.”
“The coach Dave (Wessels) has been backing us all the way and our CEO and board members continue to support us.”
“They want us to keep performing on the field and that’s what we can control, getting wins for the fans and doing them proud.”
Burton still lauds the fans to get behind the proud West Australian club, with the continued support of the Sea of Blue a terrific motivation for all the players.
“The game has come so far in WA since the Force came in, we definitely have the best fans in Australia,” he claimed.
Speaking at the Road Safety Western Force’s Free Rugby Skills Clinic with Springbok legend and 1995 World Cup Winning Captain Francois Pienaar supported by Woodside Energy the 23-year-old said the 350 kids running around at the clinic is evidence of the strength of WA rugby.
“This clinic just shows the support behind the Force, and shows everyone how happy they are to play the game of rugby and back the Force.”
Burton believes the facts are clear to keep the Road Safety Western Force in the competition, with home grown talent like himself a clear indicator that the club is moving in the right direction.
“The Force has produced so many local players and so many of these players that have been produced have played for Australia.”
“All the kids have smiles on their faces and will aspire to play for the Force one day. Let’s hope that dream can stay alive.”