Force confirm signing of Brumbies trio Bayley Kuenzle, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa and Reece Tapine

Tue, 15/06/2021, 04:38 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
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The Western Force have confirmed the signing of Brumbies trio Bayley Kuenzle, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa and Reece Tapine on two-year deals.

The trio joins Reesjan Pasitoa in making the trip West as the Force look to bolster their squad for 2022.

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Fines returns to WA after making his name for the Force in 2019, winning the Nathan Sharpe Medal as part of their title-winning NRC campaign.

“You’ve seen how well the club has done this year and I’m really keen to get amongst it to keep building on that,” Fines said.

“I’m coming to the Force for a great opportunity. I want to play some consistent rugby and be around such a great club. WA rugby gave me my first chance in a professional environment, so I can’t wait to give back to them.”

Kuenzle made an immediate impact off the bench for the Brumbies in Waikato

Meanwhile, Kuenzle is hoping to make a push for Wallabies selection as he attempts to tie down a permanent spot in the back-line.

“The Force is a proud organisation that is building, so I’m looking forward to being part of something special,” Kuenzle said.

“I’d love to play for the Wallabies. Hopefully, I can experience some regular game time and enjoy a strong season to earn that chance to play for Australia.”

As for Tapine, he will be looking to make his Super Rugby debut after impressing at centre and wing for Norths following making the switch from league.

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Head of Rugby Matt Hodgson was ecstatic with the announcement, believing the trio can be cornerstones of their backline for the next decade.

“It’s fantastic to be able to attract young players of such great ability to the Force. They all have bright futures ahead of them and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can add for years to come here in WA,” Hodgson said.

“Issak is an exceptional player and person who knows the club really well having spent a couple of years with us previously. He’s shown his creative prowess on the Super Rugby stage now and it’s great to have him back.

“Bayley is another player who has showcased his strengths on the big stage over the past two seasons and is sure to excite the fans with his running game and skills with the ball in hand. Reece has great potential and will provide pace and athleticism to the squad.”

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