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Western Force 2022

Tazzmania

Stan Wickham (3)
Wizard of Oz: How the 'best young coach in New Zealand' signed for the Western Force

Paul Cully Article on the Forcces Acquition of Mark Ozich:

New Zealand rugby's loss could very much be Australia’s gain.

Tony Lewis, the former Tasman chief executive who turned the Mako into a benchmark province before joining the Western Force, has revealed to Stuff how he landed Hawke’s Bay coach Mark Ozich, with a glowing recommendation from Māori All Blacks icon Ash Dixon forming a key part of Lewis’ due diligence process...

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ForceFan

Dick Tooth (41)

Force sign exciting league prospect

September 17, 2021
The Western Force add ‘x-factor’ to its 2022 Super Rugby Pacific squad with the signing of outside back Daniel Ala.
The 19-year-old New South Welshman joins the Force from NRL side Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and has represented Australia in the World Schools Sevens competition.
The speedster has also earned national call-ups for the Australian U18s and Schools side alongside Force lock Jackson Pugh and new recruit Reesjan Pasitoa.
 

Dan54

Michael Lynagh (62)
Wizard of Oz: How the 'best young coach in New Zealand' signed for the Western Force

Paul Cully Article on the Forcces Acquition of Mark Ozich:

New Zealand rugby's loss could very much be Australia’s gain.

Tony Lewis, the former Tasman chief executive who turned the Mako into a benchmark province before joining the Western Force, has revealed to Stuff how he landed Hawke’s Bay coach Mark Ozich, with a glowing recommendation from Māori All Blacks icon Ash Dixon forming a key part of Lewis’ due diligence process.

Read More
Just read this Tazz and was going to post it, a VERY good get! I was just wondering the other day who if there any openings for him in Super ranks, he certainly got the Bay humming over the last few years!
 

Adam84

Tony Shaw (54)
Good to see the Force signing some young talent like this.

Interesting comments about the conjecture over their salary cap spending, hadn't heard anyone publicly questioning there spending. It is no secret though that the 'salary cap' in Super Rugby isn't nearly as comprehensive or limiting as it is in other codes though.
 

ForceFan

Dick Tooth (41)
The comments from Paul Cully and others about salary caps are a bit like the question "when are you going to stop beating your wife?"
 

Tazzmania

Stan Wickham (3)
Membership Renewals for Existing Members opened today:

level up.PNG
 

cyclopath

Stirling Mortlock (74)
Staff member
Good to see the Force signing some young talent like this.

Interesting comments about the conjecture over their salary cap spending, hadn't heard anyone publicly questioning there spending. It is no secret though that the 'salary cap' in Super Rugby isn't nearly as comprehensive or limiting as it is in other codes though.
It's not like they are signing players to 400-500K / yr deals is it? I mean they are sourcing some good young prospects probably for reasonable money. Sounds like Cully trying to stir the pot.
 

upthereds#!

Chilla Wilson (44)
My problem thus far is that whilst the force were ok they weren't THAT ok.

NOW, the force have lost their best 9, 10 (cubelli & miotti), their backup samoan 12 in Taefu (who IMO should have been the 1st choice), their 1st choice wallaby 13 in Tk and probably their best player & 15 in Irish legend Kearney.

In no way is the 2022 squad shaping up to be stronger then the 2021 squad. It's actually concerning worse, except at lock and wing.
 

Tazzmania

Stan Wickham (3)
In no way is the 2022 squad shaping up to be stronger then the 2021 squad. It's actually concerning worse, except at lock and wing.
The squad may not be as experienced as it was. Overall it is a much younger squad with what I hope will be lot hungrier players looking to establish themselves.

As you mention the key signings are Rodda and Mataele, however, the backline is refreshed with the likes of Fines, Kuenzel, and Pasitoa to name just a few that will be ready to start staking claims on the PONI squad.

A number of players learnt off the likes of Kearney and Cubelli last year and will also be on the point of breakthroughs namely McDonald, Staughn and Ralston.

I believe the Force will continue to make improvement this year and I think with the new coaching team could be the surprise package,
 

Wilson

Peter Johnson (47)
Fines-Leleiwasa is a great pickup at 9 and Michael McDonald has potential, but it is a step down for next year without Cubelli. The force squad looks that way almost across the board - a lot of good pickups who should come good over the next few years, but they'll likely take the hit next year, particularly with the amount of change over in their first choice 23.
 

RugbyReg

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
yeah, I agree this is a better squad. Last year's looked too bits and pieces (and yet they did well). This looks a more rounded squad. Still not entirely sure who's in it and isn't but something like:

1 Robertson
2 Kaitu'u
3 Medrano
4 Rodda
5 Lee Warner
6 Anstee
7 Koteka
8 Stander
9 Fines
10 Pasitoa
11 Mataele
12 Kuenzle
13 Godwin
14 Ralston
15 McGregor/Strachan

16 Ready
17 Wagner
18 Lloyd
19 McCauley
20 Callan
21 McDonald
22 McGregor/Strachan
23 Talpine

So all but an international tight 5. Tizzano would be awesome with that pack.

Depth will be a concern if (when) injures happen.

I wonder if Ralston, assuming he is back to full fitness, might get a run at 15? He was fullback at school was he not? Wallabies desperate for a fullback and Ralston is a quality player.
 

Wilson

Peter Johnson (47)
Didn't realize Medrano had another year left, without him the scrum would've looked very suspect. If they can get another year out of either Timani or Thrush that should offer plenty of stability.
Edit: They also still need to lock in Tom Robertson by the looks of it, but I assume that's close to a done deal with him getting a Wallabies call up.

I wonder if Ralston, assuming he is back to full fitness, might get a run at 15? He was fullback at school was he not? Wallabies desperate for a fullback and Ralston is a quality player.

That fullback spot is going to be a big question for them, and if they hang onto to Pulu as well then Ralston looks even more likely to be tried at 15. I like Strachan but I have a feeling he'll be the one to drop from the 23 if that's the case.

I think a lot will come down to how well they can integrate the Brumbies trio of Fines-Pasitoa-Kuenzle into the side - with them all coming from the same place they might be able to hit the ground running and offset disruptive nature of changing their whole play-making axis.
 

Wilson

Peter Johnson (47)
Think we've still got Greg Holmes at tight head!?!?
Not sure he's signed on for next year yet, but he has started the transition into coaching. Will probably still be a member of the playing squad next year, but I'm not sure how many minutes the Force will be able to get out of him.
 

Tazzmania

Stan Wickham (3)
Not sure he's signed on for next year yet, but he has started the transition into coaching. Will probably still be a member of the playing squad next year, but I'm not sure how many minutes the Force will be able to get out of him.
He has signed on.

Holmes, Thrush and Kuhui have all signed on for the next eighteen months, and will transition from players to assiting with the coaching in the Force academy, or a mix thereof
 
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