Western Force adds names to its 2018 squad
The Western Force squad for the 2018 World Series Rugby tournament has been bolstered today with the addition of four more players.
A familiar Western Force face, hooker Heath Tessmann, will return to play in front of the Sea of Blue after notching up five seasons with the club between 2013 and 2017.
“One of my proudest rugby moments was being able to lead the team onto nib Stadium in front of the Sea of Blue, and after the series of events that unfolded last year I told myself I’d be there next time the Force ran out there,” Tessman said.
“It’s an exciting group that has been assembled to represent the jersey, but what we’re all most excited about is being able to get in front of the Sea of Blue.”
Loosehead prop Harry Lloyd joins the Force from the Canberra Vikings while former Chiefs openside flanker Johan Bardoul has signed with the side after a stint with Japan’s Yamaha Jubilo.
George Pisi joins the Force after careers at the Auckland Blues, French side Clermont Auvergne and the UK’s Northampton Saints, among others. He has represented Samoa, alongside his brothers, at two Rugby World Cups.
Western Force head of elite performance Matt Hodgson said the team was coming together well.
“We have had some really gruelling training sessions to date and I think the boys are in good shape to play a fast and exciting brand of rugby in the 2018 World Series Rugby matches,” Hodgson said.
“There are now just 49 days until our first game against Fiji – the countdown is on.”
Tessmann, Pisi, Bardoul and Lloyd join the following previously announced players:
Aj Alatimu, Chris Alcock, Marcel Brache, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Rod Davies, Andrew Deegan, Tevin Ferris, Jaque Fourie, Josh Furno, Peter Grant, Chris Heiberg, Rodney Iona, Feleti Kaitu’u, Brad Lacey, Kieran Longbottom, Ryan Louwrens, Cameron Orr, Harrison Orr, Leon Power, Ian Prior, Harry Scoble, Tom Sheminant, Brynard Stander, Elliot Turner, Clay Uyen and Fergus Lee Warner.
The World Series will see the Force take on some of the best national representative teams from the Asia Pacific region and return to the field against a number of Super 15 rivals.
The seven-match series will take place at NIB Stadium in Perth and kick off on May 4 against Fiji. The Force will then face off against Tonga, the Rebels and the Crusaders before challenging Samoa, Hong Kong and an as-yet-to-be-confirmed side.