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Thread: Playmaker and hooker already on Force's list

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Playmaker and hooker already on Force's list

    NICK TAYLOR, The West Australian March 16, 2010, 7:21 am

    The Western Force desperately need to recruit a seasoned hooker and a star playmaker for the future - but they already are running out of time and options.

    The defeat against the Reds showed a severe deficiency in line-out accuracy from both debutant Ryan Tyrrell and Pek Cowan that Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie described as a bonus for his side.

    Force coaches and management said they were happy to put faith in Tyrrell, Cowan and 21-year-old Ben Whittaker when they could not entice Damien Fitzpatrick from the Waratahs and legal threats blocked them from signing James Parsons from the North Harbour club in New Zealand.

    But the experiment is clearly not working, with problems at the line-outs in all four losses. And the problem looks like getting worse, with Cowan nursing a shoulder injury that could sideline him for two weeks.

    In another injury blow, flanker Jono Jenkins broke his ankle in his first touch of the ball against the Reds.

    Jenkins, on a short-term injury-replacement contract, had been on the field only a few seconds when he went down.

    Cowan is a specialist loosehead prop, first moved into the hooking role by Wallabies coach Robbie Deans on last year's northern hemisphere tour and then by Force coach John Mitchell when the club was unable to find another specialist rake for this season.

    Assistant coach Richard Graham said: "They (hookers) are not falling off trees. If you can tell me a good one that's wanting to come, let me know.

    "Pek has done a good job shifting but the skill just isn't quite right, so we need to go back and work hard."

    Graham said fears that Cowan's switch could damage his Wallaby front-row future were unfounded.

    "Pek is an outstanding rugby player," he said.

    "He has shifted across to hooker because we have asked him to. It will be easy for him to get back to loosehead."

    One option for next year's Super 15 could be 2007 World Cup Wallaby hooker Adam Freier, a veteran of 25 Tests and 99 matches with the Waratahs and Brumbies.

    He is understood to be unhappy in Sydney but also is being chased by new Super 15 franchise the Melbourne Rebels.

    The Force also are likely to find slim pickings for the No. 10 jumper.

    In-form Quade Cooper, who masterminded the Reds 50-10 victory on Sunday, showed why an energetic fly-half is so important to the Force but Cooper, 21, is understood to have turned down Force offers.

    Realistically, his future will not be decided until burglary charges against him are heard in July but he has been supported by the Reds, a club he joined as a 16-year-old and he has some family connections in Brisbane.

    Cooper, who once shared playmaking responsibilities with Berrick Barnes at the Reds, is emerging as the outstanding Australian Super 14 fly-half.

    Barnes has dismissed offers, including from the Rebels, and will remain with the Waratahs for another year.

    The Tahs' Daniel Halangahu also has rejected other offers and will stay in Sydney after signing a new two-year deal.

    At the Brumbies, Force target Matt Toomua is set to stay with the ACT side.

    David Hill is here for only one season from Japan, filling the marquee spot left by former Springbok Andre Pretorius when injury ended his season.
    Pretorius is moving to Japan later this year.

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    Last edited by travelling_gerry; 16-03-10 at 14:13.
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    If Richard Graham is seriously interested in looking for a hooker he might like to get in contact with Sydney Uni's Ben Roberts. He has been starting for Waratahs A but is not contracted to them.

    He has had a massive off-season in the Sydney Uni gym and has been transformed as a player. The Force should know by now that the Uni blokes turn up ready to play.

    Not your typical Sydney Uni forward, Ben is a real cattle dog; he'd sooner fight than fornicate; and now he has the strength and power to really back it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruiser View Post
    Not your typical Sydney Uni forward, Ben is a real cattle dog; he'd sooner fight than fornicate; and now he has the strength and power to really back it up.
    the force get an enforcer??? CRAZY!!

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    Veteran zimeric's Avatar
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    wonder if we should be concerned or relieved that so far there have been no Force players linked to the Rebels...

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    I wonder if anybody in Force management has been faxing them CVs?

    Here, have this guy, we'll release him!

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    C'mon the

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    Player Garfiep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    I wonder if anybody in Force management has been faxing them CVs?

    Here, have this guy, we'll release him!
    First offer is a coach with limited ideas, multiple excuses and an inability to learn week to week

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    Senior Player Contributor Cowboy's Avatar
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    I remember hearing about this shopping list about 12 months ago. I guess it's not always easy buying your way out of trouble.

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    Veteran zimeric's Avatar
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    Well a zimbo mate of mine who played for Hawkes Bay before taking a couple of years off has told me hes back on the Paddock and loving it! ... taking it one step at a time though... If the Force were looking for a genuine Speedster out wide he'd be a shoe-in...

    a bit of back ground on the lad.. http://allafrica.com/stories/200909070033.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by zimeric View Post
    wonder if we should be concerned or relieved that so far there have been no Force players linked to the Rebels...
    No. Only 3 established players are off contract. Say what you like about John Mitchell as a coach but he and the Force have masterminded themselves almost complete protection from the Rebels raids. Pocock has already said he isn't interested which leaves only Shepherd and O'Young as possible targets.

    We will probably have a bit more luck in the shopping this time around. Last year we stopped at Pretorius. I reckon this year they'll do a bit of a more thorough sweep. Maybe test out the waters in NZ. Word is Michael Hobbs (good 5/8th but a miserable kicker) is only contracted for this year- the Reds tried him last year (for this year) but he refused because he couldn't go back and play NPC. That wouldn't be an issue if he were signed as a marquee player though.

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