Burton reaps rewards from devotion to Force cause

Nick Taylor

When the Australian Rugby Union handed Western Force their Super Rugby franchise 10 years ago, they were briefed to provide a pathway for local talent.

In the past two years, they have boosted their home-grown ranks to feature nine Perth-bred players, a quarter of their Super squad.

One of those, inside back Luke Burton, came through the RugbyWA academy and made his Super debut last year.

He re-signed for a further two seasons yesterday. Burton grew up with most of the other local players in the squad.

He has been playing with flanker Kane Koteka since they were 14 years old, played against centre Kyle Godwin at school, and was with forwards Ollie Hoskins and Ross Haylett-Petty and winger Brad Lacey in Australian Junior World Cup squads.

Recently re-signed full-back Dane Haylett-Petty was someone Burton looked up to at Hale School.

Burton, 21, has made eight Super appearances including five in the starting side.

“I love being a part of the Force and I’m really stoked to be able to stay with the club for another two years,” he said.

"Growing up playing in Perth my dream was always to play for the Force. Perth is home for me and it’s great playing with this group of boys.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of the club, and it’s fantastic to see so many local guys now progressing.”