Force lock down young guns Burey, Poolman

Wed, Jun 14, 2023, 11:05 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Western Force look to book their spot in the finals against the Chiefs

The Western Force are continuing to build for the future after re-signing breakout star Max Burey and George Poolman on two-year deals.

Burey became their first-choice flyhalf after a superb second-half of the season for the Force.

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Splitting his time between the club and Sevens, the 24-year-old debuted against the Crusaders in round 11 before starring in their wins over the Fijian Drua and Brumbies.

He produced one of the tries of the season to finish the Super Rugby Pacific season, re-gathering what looked to be a certain 50-22, grubbering ahead before finishing off a remarkable individual effort.

"Super Rugby was exactly what I expected; it was fast and tough. I just want to keep playing more of it," Burey said in a statement.

"I've spent a lot of time with the coaches on developing my game management and how you can better impact a team. The detail they go into is beneficial, and I have learnt a great deal just in my short time at the club.

I think it's essential to have the core group of players return; when our pre-season starts, we will start at the level we finished this season. 

The games against the Cheetahs are critical for generating clear focus points for the Super season. These games will allow us to learn how to play against different, quality opposition and construct ways to adapt to situations. This is vital to me as a playmaker to extend my knowledge bandwidth."

As for Poolman, he has gradually emerged as a key member of their squad, one of few to feature in every game in 2023 from the bench.

He scored his first try in Super Rugby during their victory over Moana Pasifika in round three, eager to translate his debut season into a maiden start.

"This year was a huge milestone for me, I have learnt a great deal, but now it is time to 'beef up' and naturally put on some size to aid my performance on field," Poolman added.

The detail the coaches go into is insightful; the smaller things that people tend to brush over are a real focus. The coaching group have taught me to acknowledge the importance of core skills, they have made me think about the game differently. 

I have really bought into the history and team here at the Force. I want to be affiliated with this club, what we stand for, and our motivation for success.

It was frustrating to fall short this season; we knew we were far off our best. We will learn from this, accelerate into pre-season with the core group, and prepare for the season ahead."

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