Western Force lock in local backrower

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Force have locked in backrower Richard Hardwick for the 2017 season.

WA product Hardwick debuted for the Force in round six this season, ultimately playing three matches in the competition.

The 22-year-old has come through the Force’s Future Force program and said he was ready for another step up in competition with an influx of quality back rowers coming west.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” he said. “I’ve worked really hard to get to this stage and I still have a lot to prove to myself and my teammates, but I just can’t wait to get out there, enjoy my rugby and play alongside my mates.”

“The Future Force Program has given me the tools and the platform to get me where I am today. It gave me the opportunity to train every day and be exposed to a professional program.”

Richard Hardwick in action for the Force. Photo: Getty ImagesForce coach Dave Wessels said it was exciting to add some homegrown talent to the 2017 crop.

“It’s fantastic to have another local Perth player in the main squad,” he said.

“Richard was an inaugural member of our Future Force Program along with Kane Koteka and Harry Scoble, both of whom have gone on to perform at Super Rugby level.”

“It’s a great boost for the club but also great recognition for the Future Force program and all the good work that’s being done there.”

“He’s playing in a very competitive positional group, but he showed a real ability towards the end of the season when he got his opportuntiy to play at Super Rugby level.”

“His ability to get on ball and to challenge the opposition at the breakdown is something that he’s shown a real talent for and something we want to build on in the next few months.”