The road to the Force
It has been a big six months for Clay Uyen.
One of the Forces youngest recruits Uyen has proved himself invaluable to the Western Force after another outstanding performance in Friday night’s game against the Hong Kong Dragons.
A local product, Uyen swapped to rugby from AFL at the age of thirteen and quickly made his way up through the pathway to be a part of the Force’s starting 15 this year.
Uyen was very nearly left the state at the end of last year when he decided to make the move to Sydney. But a well-timed phone call from Matt Hodgson saw the 20-year-old turn around to keep his home in the West.
“I was at a crossroads, I didn’t know what the set up would be here and I had a pretty set-in-stone start in Sydney for me,” Uyen said.
“But I have no regrets, I was pleasantly surprised with the level in the competition that we got.
“We played the Crusaders and they just won the Super Rugby Competition!”
Coming up through local clubs and the Future Force route, the engineering student is a prime example of how the Western Australian pathway is still producing great rugby players.
Scoring two of the seven Force tries against the Hong Kong Dragons, Uyen shared the credit with the incredible fan support at nib Stadium.
“I was pretty happy to get over the line twice, it was just so loud out there,”
“There’s something about nib, it just roars!”
Uyen described the hard-fought Dragons match as the perfect game to lead into this clash with Japanese Top League leading team, the Panasonic Wild Knights, led by ex-Wallaby coach Robbie Deans and boosted by legend Berrick Barnes.
“We can’t take them lightly at all, they are on top of the Japanese league,”
“And we’re playing against ex-Wallaby heroes you’ve been watching growing up is huge.”
The Western Force take on the Panasonic Wild Knights at nib Stadium, 6.30pm Friday August 17.