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Thread: STRONG SQUAD NAMED FOR NRC

  1. #1
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    STRONG SQUAD NAMED FOR NRC

    August 26, 2019


    The 2019 Western Force National Rugby Championship squad will feature the best talent from WA club rugby combined with seasoned Global Rapid Rugby professionals.

    Led by Head Coach Tim Sampson, the Force, who lost to Queensland Country in the semis last year, has named 14 additions in its 41-man squad.

    Making his return to Australian professional rugby, former Force back Chris Tuatara-Morrison will be looking to impress after three years between French Top 14 League team Brive and Pro D2 team Colomier. Tuatara-Morison played with the men in blue from 2013-2014 before moving to France.

    Amongst those who have stood out in the Fortescue Premier Grade competition and successfully pushed their case for NRC selection is this year’s Most Improved Player winner, Rory O’Sullivan, who played four Rapid Rugby games for the Force as injury cover for Ian Prior.

    Playing from the bench in the Force’s last two matches, Prior will captain the team having fully recovered from a pectoral injury which kept him out for most of the Rapid Rugby season.

    “This is what the Western Force is about. It’s about having and providing that pathway for national selection by playing through state representative teams,” Prior said.

    “There is some really exciting talent here, lots of really good players that I think will fit in nicely.”
    Other local talent includes Wests Scarborough pair Dom Hardman and Aisake Meo and Jack Bromley and Leon Feke from UWA. The squad will also see RugbyWA Senior Academy members Ollie Callan, Jackson Pugh and Grason Makara called-up to the professional side.

    The Western Force will kick-off its campaign with a home game at UWA Sports Park against last year’s runners-up Queensland Country before flying to Fiji to take on the 2018 champions, Fijian Drua.

    “It’s really exciting to take on the two Grand Finalists straight off the bat. Obviously, Queensland Country having lost in the semis to them last year, it’s good to get the opportunity to front up against them first. It will be a good measure as to where we are at,” Prior added.

    “We love playing at home in front of our crowd and trying to ‘Fill the Hill’. It’s a tough place to travel and play for away teams, but a really good place for us. Hopefully, we can play some of our best rugby and get the biggest NRC crowds which we have had in the last few years.”

    Recovering well from a long-term knee injury, Force front-rower Kieran Longbottom, was unavailable for selection.

    Forwards
    Aisake Meo, Andrew Ready, Ben Grant, Brynard Stander, Cameron Orr, Carlo Tizzano, Chris Alcock, Chris Heiberg, Dominic Hardman, Feleti Kaitu’u, Fergus Lee-Warner, Harrison Lloyd, Heath Tessmann, Henry Stowers, Jack Bromely, Jackson Pugh, Jeremy Thrush, Johan Bardoul, Markus Vanzati, Ollie Callan, Tevin Ferris, Tom Sheminant.

    Backs
    AJ Alatimu, Andrew Deegan, Brad Lacey, Byron Ralston, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Grason Makara, Halaufa Lavaka, Henry Taefu, Ian Prior, Issak Fines, Jack McGregor, Jake Strachan, Jonah Placid, Kiti Ratu, Leon Feke, Marcel Brache, Nick Jooste, Pama Fou, Rory O’Sullivan.

    Game Details:
    Round 1
    Force vs Qld Country
    Saturday, August 31
    3pm kick-off

    All Force games will be shown LIVE on Kayo Sports and RUGBY.com.au.

    https://www.westernforce.com.au/stro...named-for-nrc/

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  2. #2
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    Good to see Premier players stepping up.

    Is Longbottom not playing?

    A question on Dominic Hardman, who comes in as a THP I assume - Is he from England or Oz?

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    The report says Longbottom has had a long-term knee injury, so no point stressing him for this - let him get fit for next year's GRR.

    I've googled "Dominic Hardman rugby", and I get reports of a player for Hull, so he might be a pom. Westie should know. He is listed as playing 1 (LHP) for Wests, though.

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    Good squad. Not sure if it will get to the Final as there are a few new faces I haven’t seen yet.

    Vikings have a lot of firepower and the best balanced squad. Jury out on the props. Even without McCaffrey (not sure why he isn’t there) and Cusack (7s); Samu, Will Miller and Valetini are there in the back row. Swain, Enever and Frost in the row. That big lad from Qld who was interviewed on the Foxsports site a couple of weeks back is rumoured to be joining the Brumbies so he might appear. Not sure when WA boy Pasitoa is finishing his exams as Qld have an odd system.

    I expect the Qld sides and the Drua to be strong. Once again NSW have devalued the concept of the comp with their squad selection. The Country squad has players from Sydney with no Country connections whether through schooling, junior Rugby, etc. The Vikings are more country than they are. Jake Gordon (Newton) and James Dargaville (Northern Beaches) are two good examples. Going the way they are they will never find another Dave Carter, Steve Merrick, Chris Latham, etc putting Sydney siders in a side that is supposed to be representative of players from the bush.

    Rising will probably use it to test players out as the Rebels are losing a few players. Not sure where Maddocks is. He played his club Rugby in Sydney this year, rumoured to be off to the Tahs but not named in the Sydney squad.

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