Force legend to return for NRC
The Western Force’s debut National Rugby Championship team will be bolstered with the inclusion of Wallaby and Force veteran Dane Haylett-Petty.
After finishing the Super Rugby season with Melbourne Rebels, Dane will return home to Perth for the 2018 NRC period to play alongside the Force and a collection of local club players.
“I am really excited for the opportunity to play back in Perth in front of friends and family,” Haylett-Petty said.
“Watching on from Melbourne, they’re doing great things growing the game and creating a pathway from community rugby through to professional level.
“I’m looking forward to getting back when I’m not involved with the Wallabies. It gives me a chance to stay involved with rugby in WA and give back in whatever capacity I can.”
Force’s captain Ian Prior will continue to lead the fresh squad through the NRC season.
Twenty-nine-year-old Kalamunda recruit Maalonga Konelio will join the Force after playing for Brisbane City in last years NRC competition.
After a big season with local club Joondalup Brothers and a star performance in the Beachcombers Mauritius 10’s, Sheldon Tarawa has earnt selection in the squad for his first exposure at NRC level.
He will be joined by Associates forward Lachlan Valentine, who is coming off an outstanding season with the Premiership Division Grand Finalists.
The new Force squad will welcome home several players who played over East in last years competition including AJ Alatimu (Brisbane City), Brad Lacey (Brisbane City) and Tom Sheminant (Sydney).
In the Force’s first year as part of the NRC, a number players will also be making their debut including George Pisi, Leon Power, Harrison Orr, Henry Stowers, Jeremy Thrush and Elliot Turner.
The Future Force Academy will be well represented with University of Western Australia products Carlo Tizzano and Jack Hardy and Cottesloe lock Benjamin Grant being named in the squad.
The squad will grow further as it retains Force players Fergus Lee-Warner (GSR), Jack McGregor (Melbourne Rising), Markus Vanzati (Brisbane City), Rodney Iona (Canberra Vikings), Henry Taefu (Brisbane City) and Feleti Kaitu’u (QLD Country).