Force coach Dave Wessels is confident his side can hang on to Adam Coleman, despite uncertainty over the second rower’s future.
Coleman is believed to have committed to stay in Australian rugby but held off re-signing with the Force with a decision yet to be made about the franchise’s future amid SANZAAR Super Rugby review meetings.
SANZAAR is set to meet later this month about the competition format moving beyond 2018 and Wessels is bullish about their future, after a groundswell of local support and the acquisition of a rich sponsorship deal with the West Australian Road Safety Commission.
If Coleman decided to leave Perth, the Waratahs loom as his likely destination, but Wessels is confident the 25-year-old wants to stay put.
“Adam and I have had a lot of chats about it and I'm pretty confident that Adam's going to stay at the Force,” he said.
“He's - the team means a lot to him, I think he just wants to hear that SANZAAR are going to keep us and by all accounts that's going to happen so I don't think there's any issue there, it's certainly not something I'm worried about.”
Coleman has been openly grateful to the Force for helping him reach Test level and Wessels said it was an emotional moment when the 204cm second rower made his Wallabies debut.,
“When I first met Adam in 2012 (he was) at the club and he had a gut hanging out the front of his pants, he was a long way from being a Test rugby player,” he said.
“So, when he finally made it ...I think I got the wobbly chin a little bit because you feel like it's just a special moment for him but it's also a special moment for the club.” - Dave Wessels
The Force will head back to Perth on Monday after a quarter-final finish in the Brisbane Tens, with a renewed sense of confidence in their depth, after a year where they provided a handful of Wallabies.
Assistant coach Kevin Foote stepped in for the Tens tournament and said the competition had showed
“Dave Wessels and (general manager) Mark Sinderberry have worked really hard at the recruitment and some of the guys you've got in are just real, real guns,” he said.
“Isi Naisarani's come from the Reds, really, really special, Chance Peni, Curtis Rona from league, so they've come across.
“Alex Newsome, the young centre who's come across from New South Wales, just brilliant, real good guys and the competition's good now, so in all positions we're not sure (who we’ll pick).
“We've got Wallabies in the front row fighting each other for positions, we've got (Wallabies hooker) Tatafu Polota-Nau fighting with Heath Tessman, fighting with Anaru Rangi and Rusty Scoble.
“It's a real good position to be in.”
The Force head to Sydney to take on the Waratahs in the first round of Super Rugby.