Tatafu Polota-Nau has ditched plans to go overseas, signing a one-year deal with the Western Force for 2017.
The 68-Test hooker is currently recovering from a broken arm, after undergoing surgery in recent weeks, an injury that curtailed his opportunities abroad.
While the injury re-routed his future, Polota-Nau said he was looking forward to the new opportunity.
“I’m really looking forward to getting across to the west and joining the Force,” said Polota-Nau.
“(New Head Coach) Dave Wessels is very impressive and there is a really good environment within the playing group with some great young talent coming through and really good leaders at the club like Hodgo (Matt Hodgson) and the new Wallabies Dane Haylett-Petty and Adam Coleman.”
Polota-Nau was one of the most prominent figures in community rugby during his 11 seasons at the NSW Waratahs and wants to embrace a similarly active role in Perth.
“One of the things I was keen to understand was the Force’s plans around community Rugby and that’s something I’m very keen to get involved when I get over to the west.”
The Wallabies usual reserve hooker has found it difficult to watch on from Australia as his Test teammates shoot for a Grand Slam but is focusing on his rehab.
“The boys played really well against Wales on the weekend and obviously, I’m gutted I’m not on the tour having a crack at the Grand Slam. There is a really strong belief within the group and all the hard work that’s getting put into our preparation is going to show out in our games over in Europe”, he said.
“Playing for Australia is the ultimate for me and I want to continue playing for the Wallabies for as long as possible. The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport and having played in two no, and reaching the final last year, the desire is certainly there to work towards getting another shot at the World Cup.
“Right now it’s just about getting myself ready to play and putting in a big pre-season with the Western Force ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season.”