Force sign Harry Hoopert, Reds respond with Ravai, Du Lutiis signing

Tue, Aug 8, 2023, 11:57 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Catch all tries and highlights as Australia A took on Japan XV at Chichibunomiya Stadium in Tokyo.

The Western Force have strengthened their front-row depth with the signing of Australia A prop Harry Hoopert.

Hoopert makes the move west from the Reds after playing 48 games for the club over the past six years.

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The 24-year-old's strong form in 2022 was rewarded with a call-up for the Australia A program, only to damage his ACL in Japan.

Having missed the entirety of the 2023 Super Rugby season, Hoopert was eager to make up for lost time.

"Crono coached me in the U20 a few years ago; even then, he was incredibly detailed and thorough, which is what I am looking forward to gaining from him," Hoopert said in a statement. 

"I've been keeping a close eye on the Force for the last year, and the recent signings especially have caught my attention and made me want to make a move over.

"I have been at the Reds for six years, so the move will be a welcomed change. The opportunity to come to a younger squad and help out, having input where I can, is exciting.

"The coaches have built a strong group and I definitely believe that the Force can build on last season."

In line with Hoopert's departure, the Reds confirmed the re-signing of Peni Ravai and the signing of Junior Wallabies prop Massimo de Lutiis.

Ravai, who was just named in Fiji's Rugby World Cup squad, signs on a one-year deal.

As for De Lutiis, the Gold Coast product returns home after a stint in the Brumbies Academy.

“Peni is great for our squad on-and-off the field," Reds coach Les Kiss said.

“To have someone with his Test match experience is hugely important for our young props and their development as professionals. He’ll only add to his knowledge at the World Cup and we wish him all the best for the tournament.

“We’re glad Massimo has chosen to join us back in his home state. He’s a player with great promise and will bring plenty to our group of props at Ballymore moving forward.”

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