New coach Richard Graham to go full-time with Western Force

  • Ed Jackson
  • From: AAP
  • September 12, 2010 11:27AM

STEPPING DOWN: Richard Graham will vacate his duties at the Wallabies to concentrate full-time on the Western Force. Picture: Richard Polden Source: PerthNow

NEW Western Force coach Richard Graham has stepped down from his Wallabies assistant coaching role to focus full-time on the Perth-based Super rugby club.

Graham, whose last match with the Wallabies was Saturday night's 23-22 loss to New Zealand, said he wouldn't be joining the national squad for the upcoming tour of Europe and next month's Bledisloe Cup Test in Hong Kong.

Instead he'll stay in Perth getting the Force ready for the expanded Super 15 next year.

"It's important that you're committed to one or the other 100 per cent,'' Graham said on Sunday.

"Certainly from my point of view going away would have meant an eye over my shoulder looking towards the Western Force and that's unfair to both parties.

"I won't be going (overseas).''

Graham takes over at the Force from former All Blacks coach John Mitchell who has accepted a position with South Africa's Lions franchise.

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"We've got a very good young group of players, I think possibly the best young group of players in Australia,'' said Graham.

"We've got a good foundation, what we need to do is recruit well over the next month or two.

"Obviously a strength of the Western Force is the forward pack that they've got so I'd probably like to incorporate them into the game a little bit more and be more multi-dimensional than we've been.

"In terms of goals, I think everyone enters a season wanting to win but at this stage I think it's important that we develop as a side our identity, that we play well, and if we do that then hopefully we can achieve what we set out to as a side.''

And while Graham is excited about taking on his new role, there is one small regret he can see from having to walk away from the Wallabies.

"Probably the disappointing thing for me in this is that I won't be there next year when I think they genuinely have a chance of winning the World Cup,'' he said.

"I think with a young side everyone's acknowledged there's going to be ups and downs but I think the side's finally starting to believe what they're capable of and that's been evident the last three games.''