Asteron Life Super Rugby preview: Western Force

by Staff Writer

The Western Force enter their tenth season in the competition off the back of their most successful year ever! The men from Perth won nine matches, including a five match winning streak in the middle of the season in 2014.

This year the Western Force will once again be led by inspirational captain Matt Hodgson, who became the most capped player in the club’s history last year (113), after playing every match at the age of 33. Although injured for the opening rounds, the Western Force will be able led veteran lock Sam Wykes.With Head Coach Michael Foley having extended his contract with the western based province, the Force are looking united and prepared for the challenges of the Asteron Life Super Rugby competition.

Trial Form:

The Western Force played two trial matches ahead of the 2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby season, defeating 2014 semi-finalists the ACT Brumbies 31-21 at McGillivray Oval, scoring five tries to three.

Their final trial match was played at the same ground against the Asia Pacific Dragons, coached by legendary All Black Tana Umaga.

The home side led at every stage of the match to finish their pre-season campaign with a 38-19 victory.

New Signings:

Fan favourite Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins returns to the Sea of Blue in 2015 after being granted leave from his Japanese based club, the Coca Cola Red Sparks, to see out the 2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby season and thus make him eligible for selection in the Qantas Wallabies Rugby World Cup campaign this year.

Rugby WA CEO, Mark Sinderberry Was pleased to see Nick back with the Force.

“As a club, we believe it’s important to have Nick involved with Australian rugby and we’re very pleased to have him returning to us for next season”.

The engaging and powerful winger proved to be a handful for his Wallaby team mates when he played for the Barbarians in November of 2014 and will no doubt be looking to replicate his performance.

Player to Watch:

Nathan Charles had a breakout year in 2014, starting in every match for the Western Force, and earning his Qantas Wallabies debut against France in June last year, after veteran hooker Stephen Moore ruptured his ACL.

Charles has also had the benefit of learning from a Rugby World Cup winning hooker with Head Coach Michael Foley who has taken a personal interest in his development.

At 26 years of age, and 60 Asteron Life Super Rugby caps to his name, Charles is entering the peak of his powers, and will be working hard in 2015 to earn a spot in the Qantas Wallabies World Cup squad in eight months’ time. As Australian Rugby builds towards the Rugby World Cup later this year, a strong scrum with young talent coming through will be crucial for the Qantas Wallabies.

Opening Match:

The Western Force travel to Sydney for their opening match this Sunday, as they take on 2014 Asteron Life Super Rugby Champions the NSW Waratahs at Allianz Stadium at 4:00pm AEDT, live on FOXSPORTS.


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