New faces in Force Tens squad

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by Beth Newman

Speedster Curtis Rona will have a chance to show his speed in the Brisbane Tens next week, named in the Force's 27-man squad for the tournament.

Rona scored 41 tries in 57 games of NRL for the Bulldogs and Cowboys and with a bit more space in the Tens tournament will be one of the key weapons for the WA side.

Wallabies Tatafu Polota-Nau and Luke Morahan will also be travelling to Queenslandfor the two-day competition.

Ben McCalman was a key player in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyBen McCalman's start to the year has been delayed after a thumb dislocation, while Wallabies fullback Dane Haylett-Petty has not been named, having been back at training just three weeks.

Force skills coach Kevin Foote will take the reins at the event, with David Wessels opting to focus on Super Rugby trials.

Wessels said the opportunity would be crucial for Foot and the Force. 

"It’s very exciting, a new format of the game, we’ve seen how successful it’s been for a sport like cricket trying different forms, so we’re thrilled to be involved with it," he said.

“Kevin Foote will be the coach at the tournament, with the rest of the coaching staff supporting him. He’s had some experience in the tens format of the game and we feel he is the appropriate coach to lead the team and the rest of the staff will all be supporting him.”

Dave Wessels will be Force head coach for the next two seasons. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Force have some Tens success, having won the Mauritius Tens last year,  and Foote said he was excited to have control with plenty of new faces in the squad. 

“I’m really pumped about the Tens, it’s an exciting tournament and I think we’ve got a really strong squad who are excited to play that style of game," he said.

“We will definitely take momentum from the win in the Mauritius Tens last year, but more importantly we want to go out there and enjoy playing the game.

“I think we have a really good balance in the squad; a guy like ‘Hodgo’ (Matt Hodgson) over the ball in unstructured play with so much space and having guys like Luke Morahan, Curtis Rona and Chance Peni outside of them with pace it should be entertaining to watch.”

The Force will come up against the Hurricanes and Toulon in the Brisbane competition but kick off their preseason on February 6, with a trial against the Rebels on the Gold Coast. abut 


Force Brisbane Tens squad

Richard  Arnold

Marcel Brache

Robert  Coleman

Mees Erasmus  

Peter grant

Richard Hardwick

Ross haylett-Petty

Matt Hodgson

Onehunga Kaufusi

Kane Koteka

Ryan Louwrens

Semisi Masiwera

Luke Morahan

Isi Naisarani

Alex  Newsome

Chance Peni

Matthew Philip

Tatafu Polota-Nau

Ian Prior

Anaru Rangi

Curtis Rona

Michael Ruru

Brynard Stander

Heath Tessman

James Verity-Amm

Shambeckler Vui