Captain commits to Force and family
Western Force captain Ian Prior has given his full endorsement to Global Rapid Rugby and the upward trajectory of elite rugby throughout the Asia Pacific region after rejecting interest from Europe to re-sign with the club for the 2020 season.
Leadership and silky skills are a combination in high demand when it comes to guiding a team around the rugby field, so it was no surprise more than a few clubs were interested in prying Prior away from WA.
In signing his new deal the 28-year-old scrumhalf will extend his time in the west to the seventh season and is excited about what the future holds as the Force enters a new rugby frontier.
“I believe in what we are doing as a team and as a competition. I enjoy being part of the Rapid Rugby revolution,” Prior said.
“It will be really exciting to do the home and away travel next year, explore new countries and take the product of rugby to places where it hasn’t really been before. That is really exciting to be part of as a player.”
Advancing the positive trickle-down effect of a strong professional rugby set-up in Perth was also high on Prior’s list.
“Working together to achieve a thriving rugby programme in WA is something I enjoy getting out of bed and contributing towards every day,” he said.
“I came through the club system myself, so knowing that the grassroots are strong and that there is a pathway for kids if they want to play professional rugby is very important.”
As a new Dad, off-field factors were also a key part of the equation. And while the life of a professional athlete comes with the understanding that moves can happen at any moment, in weighing up his options with wife Lizzy the pair continually came back to the strong roots they’ve made in WA.
“Ian has played at a few other teams and I have never felt more at home than I do here in Perth with this squad,” Lizzie said.
“I think even more so with Rapid Rugby now.
“It’s been really special getting to engage with the fans that I would not normally have gotten to meet, I get to see them at every game and have conversations with them. They met Riley, ask about how Scout (the couple’s dog) is doing.
“It is such a big and strong community now, not just the partners and players, it is beyond that now,” Lizzy said.