Rapid Rush to #BeTheForce
The Western Force squad for the inaugural home-and-away Global Rapid Rugby season is continuing to take shape with 14 more players signing-on for 2020.
Coach Tim Sampson and captain Ian Prior joined Founder Andrew Forrest in committing to the Force and Rapid Rugby at the end of this year’s Showcase Series and contract discussions with the playing group have continued since.
A quality list of players, including starting regulars Brad Lacey, Johan Bardoul, AJ Alatimu, Tevin Ferris, Henry Stowers, Nick Jooste, Henry Taefu and Fergus Lee-Warner will suit up again next year, alongside Feleti Kaitu’u, Jonah Placid, Andrew Ready, Chris Alcock, Chris Heiberg and Ben Grant.
While winning the NRC crown remains the coaches firm focus, shaping the squad for the rigours of a home and away season of Rapid Rugby is also high on the agenda and more signatures are expected soon.
“I am thrilled that we will be able to keep the core of our group together,” Sampson said.
“The names we are able to announce today are all terrific young men and I am super confident that they will continue to build on the hard work of the last two seasons and the job we have just embarked on in the NRC competition.”
Negotiations around the 2020 season are continuing with another list of current players so stand by for more good news soon.
“Our success this year has meant we have had plenty of interest from players in other parts of the country and from overseas as well,” Sampson said.
“On one hand I can’t wait to begin a full-season of Rapid Rugby with these guys, but on the other hand we have got off to such a great start to the NRC season.
“To be coaching such a group of quality people and be living here in Perth, it really is a privilege.”
While disappointed to be losing talented players like Andrew Deegan (Melbourne Rebels) and Carlo Tizzano (NSW Waratahs) next year, coach Sampson says everyone involved, including the fans, should watch them with pride in the future.
“There is always movement every year in every team in every competition,” he explained.
“It’s a great vote of confidence that our program is considered to be strong enough that Super Rugby and other quality overseas clubs watch us so closely.
“To have played a hand in the development of Andrew Deegan is a delight. The Force brought him back from overseas and into the Australian system and I know he is going to look great in the Green and Gold of our country soon.
“Deegs is so coachable, he brings fresh ideas to the group and lives our motto, ‘work hard and stay humble’.
“Carlo is heading to the Tahs seeking the opportunity to play Super Rugby as soon as possible. You have to admire a young bloke willing to back himself like that.”
Both Deegan and Tizzano will remain key members of the Western Force 2019 NRC campaign.