The Western Force have continued to build for the 2022 Super Rugby season and beyond, appointing Kiwis trio Mark Ozich, Paul Tito and Chris Goodman as part of their wider coaching staff.
Ozich will step in as their attacking coach after leading Hawke’s Bay to the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup championship division title and the Ranfurly Shield.
Having served as Highlanders coach during the Super Rugby Aotearoa U20 Championships, Force CEO Tony Lewis was thrilled to have him on board.
“Mark (Ozich) is a fantastic addition to the coaching team. He is a coach that has achieved and understands success, having won two national title school titles and winning silverware with Hawke’s Bay in recent years,” Lewis said.
“He is an exceptional educator and communicator who will instil confidence and belief in the squad to be the leading force in Super Rugby.”
Along with this, they have signed former Cardiff lock and Wellington coach Paul Tito as their defensive coach.
“Paul (Tito) is another fantastic addition to the coaching team. He is a coach with a winning mentality, but importantly has a wealth of international experience both as a player and coach,” Lewis explained.
“I am confident that he will add the leadership, knowledge and exceptional communication to take the Western Force to the next level.”
They are joined by a fellow Kiwi Chris Goodman, who will take over the Force's Fortescue Academy.
Goodman was the archetype and Academy Director behind the Crusaders program for the past six years, the first of his kind in New Zealand.
After their inaugural season, Goodman admits the prospect of building and developing Rugby in the West was a prospect too exciting to turn down.
“The Western Force excites me when I talk about them. There’s something about the place that when I got the opportunity, I just jumped at it,” Goodman explained.
“I think the Force is a crucial part of the puzzle for Rugby Australia. There are a lot of passionate rugby people here in Western Australia and a lot of talented players. From my perspective, it’s a chance to build on and continue to push for success.
"I’m really passionate about rugby and that stems from my family. As a youngster, I watched my Dad mentor many players and coaches within the Tasman, so for this to be my career is quite special and a dream of mine.
“The recipe to success is having good people around you. Players who are willing to work hard, but have fun as well. If you’re not having fun then it’s not worth doing it, which ties in with the cultural aspects I’m looking to instill into the Academy.”
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This was shared by Lewis, who believes Goodman can set them up for the future after the first full year in Super Rugby and confirmation of their participation of Super Rugby Pacific heading forward.
“Chris (Goodman) brings an abundance of experience and expertise to the club. Chris joining us is a significant step in the right direction as we build towards becoming the best academy in Australia,” Lewis stated.
“This recruitment further supports the clear vision of Andrew and Nicola Forrest by growing rugby in WA through the nurturing and development of local talent, while also cultivating a strong connection with the community clubs.”