DHP backs five Australian teams

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Dane Haylett-Petty has used his own rugby journey as proof five Australian Super Rugby teams are needed to grow the game.

The Force fullback is the poster boy for the Western Australian pathway to Wallaby gold.

Born in South African before moving to Perth as a 10-year-old, Haylett-Petty cemented himself as a regular in the Wallabies' best XV in 2016.

But if it wasn't for the Force, the 27-year-old may never have been handed an opportunity in Australia after four years abroad in France and Japan.

"I know from my point of view, when we did have a four team model I didn’t have enough opportunity here so I went over to France and developed over there," he said.Haylett-Petty was a revelation for the Wallabies in 2016. Photo: Getty Images"When the Force came in it was about growing Wallabies and the Force have definitely done that through the years.

"As well as that on the weekend we had about 10 Western Australians in the team so we are heading towards a team where a lot of the guys have been developed here.

"I think having four teams definitely blocks out that pathway for a lot of young guys coming through.

"That pathway is working so it would be an absolute shame to get rid of it now."

As the Australian Super Rugby CEOs go to ground over the matter, Haylett-Petty said he would like to see a decision made sooner rather than later.

"At the moment it’s just all rumours," he said.Haylett-Petty is now one of the wise heads at the Force. Photo: Getty Images"We’ve heard chatter of the Brumbies and Rebels merging or one of those teams going but it’s just rumours.

"No one knows what’s going on so I think it’s just best we sort it out as soon as possible."

The Force have the bye this weekend before launching into a Crusaders-Blues road trip which will shape their season.

The Western Australians have shown flashes of brilliant football in their first three matches but are yet to put together an 80 minute performance.

"It’s definitely going to take some time," Haylett-Petty said.

"Any time you try and play a different style of rugby it takes some time and I think with each game we are taking a step towards the style we want to but it’s not quite there yet.

"It has been frustrating that we have let a couple slip so far but we have a few more opportunities yet."