Nine fresh faces inducted into new top tier Western Force academy
Western Force are looking to the future as they induct nine players into the new top tier of the Western Force senior academy.
Academy general manager Chris Goodman said the club was focused on securing and investing in players that will be ready for the Super Rugby squad in the next few years to create a sustainable future.
“It’s about building succession. It’s about developing players,” Goodman said.
“We won’t have to look elsewhere because these players are already entrenched in our language, our systems and our processes.”
The academy will have around 25 players.
The top tier will train full-time with the Force, the second tier will join the main squad in selected sessions, the youngest group will train at times that allow them to work or study.
Local club players Siosifa Amone, Alex Masibaka, Luke Callan and Connor Seve were all in this year’s Junior Wallabies training camp.
“For Sifa, Alex, Luke and Connor, it’s really showing that our pathway is going to work in the next couple of years,” Goodman said.
“Rugby Australia are also investing in them and they have been identified as players of national interest.”
Rupeni Mataele is joining his older brother, new Force recruit Manasa Mataele from New Zealand.
“Rupeni is a real special player, not unlike his brother Manasa, he is a big ball carrier, highly ranked within New Zealand circles and for us to attract him here is a big win for us,” Goodman said.
Speedster Jordan Williams is moving from the Australian Sevens programme..
“Jordan has a lot of speed and his footwork is outstanding,” Goodman said.
Junior Wallabies prop Andrew Romano has moved from Queensland.
“He is another player of national interest. You don’t get guys that size with his mobility and skill set that often so we’re very excited to have him join the club, “ Goodman said.
Two other players highly rated by Rugby Australia are backrower Ned Slack-Smith and fly-half/full-back George Poolman.
“Ned is a player that we are really thrilled to work with. To be able to attract a player of Ned’s ability is very exciting for us.,” Goodman said.
“George is a quality playmaker.
“We are looking to build the next 10 and 15 for the senior side. By investing in a young man of his ability we will be able to see those results in the next couple of years.”
New tier one academy members: props Andrew Romano and Siosifa Amone, full-back George Poolman, wingers Rupeni Mataele and Jorden Williams, back-rower Ned-Slack Smith, Alex Masibaka and second-rowers Luke Callan and Connor Seve.
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