Force adding players for 2018

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Western Force have added prop Kieran Longbottom to their roster, as they look to build a squad outside of Super Rugby.

The Force, which received its intellectual property back from Rugby Australia, is likely to aiming to play exhibition matches as well as feature in Andrew Forrest's proposed Indo Pacific Rugby Championship.

Rugby AU CEO Raelene Castle confirmed last week that players involved with the Force, even in the IPRC, would be eligible for the Wallabies.

Kieran Longbottom in his Force days. Photo: Getty ImagesLongbottom, a former Force player, has been plying his trade overseas over the past four years.

As part of his contract, Longbottom will be committed to completing 350 hours of involvement in community programs.

The 32-year-old joins Marcel Brache and Peter Grant as players who have publicly committed to the Force in its new iteration, while a number of former Force players, including Heath Tessmann, are still contracted and based in Perth.

"I'm incredibly excited to be coming home to Western Australia to play in front of the sea of blue again," he said in a statement.

"Perth and the Western Force is my home and everyone in the sea of blue is my extended family."

The Force are yet to publicly confirm any upcoming fixtures, but are reportedly considering playing an exhibition against the Crusaders in the June Test break.