Cowan back to finish some Super Rugby business with Force

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Pek Cowan says a slice of unfinished business pulled him back to the Force and into Super Rugby AU.

Cowan is a foundation Force player but has been playing in Japan since the side was cut from Super Rugby in 2017.

On hearing the news that the Force would be part of Super Rugby AU, the prospect of returning jumped straight into Cowan's mind.

It wasn't quite as simple as that, though.

Returning from Japan, Cowan had to serve two weeks of quarantine before linking up with the team and he will likely have to wait at least another week before he is ready to be injected into the matchday squad.

"As soon as I heard that we might have the opportunity to play Super Rugby again I thought there was no other team I would love to be a part of," he said.

"Just the way everything's happened, eventually getting here, having to go through isolation for a couple of weeks, that was almost like my waiting period where I just had to, I could regather my thoughts and set a few goals for myself personally before I could leave (isolation) and join the team."

Cowan said the sense of having some unfinished business in Super Rugby also pushed him to return to Australia.

"Whether you're fit and physically ready, it's kind of irrelevant when you're playing with a bit more emotion attached to a team that means a lot to me, meant a lot then and means even more now that I'm back and in the environment again," he said.

"I haven't been able to do a lot of the sessions just getting back but just watching the boys out there, watching the work that they're doing, sitting in meetings, speaking with some of the boys, you can feel they want to do their best, they want to play well and they've got that confidence there and belief in it as well.

"That's something again that I'm really looking forward to being a part of."

The Force are winless from two games and will go in as outsiders against competition favourites the Brumbies this weekend.

Cowan said that was exactly the way the WA side wanted it.

"I think for us, that's perfect," he said.

"You never want to be going into a game where everyone thinks you're going to succeed.

"For our guys, it's all about staying humble, making sure we're doing our work, executing on the day.

"We turned a lot of heads, especially last week against the Reds.

"We were able to score points, our set piece was strong and it was just a few of those fundamental errors that really are learning curves for us and making sure we learn from those and move on to the next week, making sure that we execute in those areas and then we put ourselves in the position to really take games by the hand."

The Force were originally scheduled to return to Perth ahead of round five but with WA's border controls remaining fairly strict, it appears they will be in NSW for the time being.

Cowan said it wasn't clear when they would be able to play home games in Perth but the team was hoping that opportunity would com.e

"That was my initial thought when I joined the team, I'd be in Perth but being away the hope is we get back there as soon as we can," he said.

"I think we can't guarantee exactly when that is and with the group that we've got it's probably a great group to be able to put these hurdles in front of and be able to take those steps forward.

"Whenever that opportunity does come, i know the team and not only us but our supporters, the sea of blue, they're sitting there waiting for us to get home and for me, that would just be the ultimate for me to be able to chuck the jumper on and play there.

"That's another one of the reasons why I wanted to come back and wanted to give back as much as I could but under the circumstances we don't know exactly when that will be and we're just really, really hoping that's some time soon."

The Force take on the Brumbies on Saturday July 25 at Leichhardt Oval, kicking off at 7:15pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports. Buy tickets here. Buy a Kayo subscription here.