Canterbury Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona is heading on a cross-country, cross-code journey, signing with the Force for two years.
Rona was contracted with the Bulldogs until the end of 2017 but was granted an early release to head to Perth, where he grew up.
The winger has been a sensation for Canterbury, scoring 33 tries in 45 games with the NRL side and finishing second on the competition’s try-scoring tally in 2015.
Rona has a long association with Western Australia having moved there from Auckland as a five-year-old, playing rugby league with the Joondalup Giants.
He’s not entirely unfamiliar to the Force setup either having been a member of the Force Academy as a junior.
Rona went on to represent the junior Kiwi’s in 2012 before debuting with the Cowboys in 2014.
He surprised North Queensland at the end of that season turning down a multi-year offer to move to Sydney, a switch that paid dividends, culminating in his selection in New Zealand’s squad to tour England last year.
Two years on from that shock defection, Rona has decided to take another career risk, from which the Force hope to be another beneficiary.
Rona will bring some crucial finishing skill to the Force, who have struggled to be a serious attacking force in recent years.
The speedster would be eligible for the Wallabies, having lived in Australia for almost his entire life, making him an intriguing prospect for the Force.
Rona is the fourth signing for the Force since the end of the Super Rugby season and will join Ben Daley (Reds), Bill Meakes (Gloucester), Ben Matwijow (Reds) as newcomers for 2017.