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Western Force sign scrum-half duo

Tue, 26/07/2022, 11:28 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Force were looking to keep their finals hopes alive against the visiting Hurricanes.

The Western Force have confirmed the re-signing of Ian Prior as well as the signing of Henry Robertson as they locked down their scrumhalf options for 2023.

Prior inks a two-year extension after making his debut for the club in 2014.

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He is one of three players to bring up 100 games for the Force, inspiring them to a comeback victory over the Hurricanes in the final game of the 2022 season.

Having finished Super Rugby Pacific on a high, the 31-year-old is eager to build on it under new coach Simon Cron.

“I’m extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to represent the blue jersey for another two seasons,” Prior said.

“I feel like I played some of my best rugby this year and still have the hunger to keep getting better.

“I’ll be looking to use my experience to make sure everyone knows what we’re representing, and what the jersey means to former players, the staff, our partners, and our supporters.

“It’s an exciting new chapter for the club with the regeneration of the squad and coaching staff. I’m looking forward to building on the legacy that those before us have built to ensure we’re making them proud with our own contributions.”

Meanwhile, Robertson heads west on a one-year deal from the Waratahs after making his debut last year.

The Sydney Uni product has featured in seven Super Rugby games in the past two seasons and was hoping the move could provide greater opportunities for the former Junior Wallaby.

“I'm happy to be given the opportunity to get into a new environment to meet and work with new people,” Robertson believes.

“I've worked with Tom Robertson, Ryan McCauley, and George Poolman before, who I've spoken with about the club. I'm really looking forward to joining a hard-working group.

“I want to be playing consistent rugby at the Super Rugby level. I'm aiming to take any opportunity to develop my game and play senior rugby as much as possible.”

The pair join Issak Fines-Leleiwasa as the Force continues their recruitment drive under Cron, with Michael Wells, Folau Fainga'a and Chase Tiatia set to join next season.

Force General Manager of Rugby Matt Hodgson believes the pair provide a perfect balance to their halves as they look to push for a return to the finals.

“We have a great mix of youth and experience in our scrum-half stocks ahead of the 2023 season, with Issak (Fines-Leleiwasa), Ian (Prior), and Henry (Robertson),” Hodgson said.

“Ian’s game management and leadership qualities have proven invaluable over the years, so to have him signed on for a further two seasons is further positive news for the club. “Henry brings with him a great understanding of the game and has the ability to play both instinctively and to control the game. He is a great addition to our team and creates great competition amongst our scrum-halves.”

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