Force hooker eyes more Wallabies jerseys

By Justin Chadwick
Force's Charles hungry for Wallabies

Western Force hooker Nathan Charles hopes his roller coaster ride over the past two years will help drive him towards his ultimate dream - playing for Australia at a World Cup.

Charles announced himself as a rising star in 2014 when he broke through to play four Tests for the Wallabies.

But a torn pectoral muscle followed by an indifferent display for the Force in Super Rugby this season has seen Charles fall well down the hooker pecking order.

Charles was cast into the role of a couch spectator during this year's World Cup, watching on helplessly as the Wallabies were beaten by New Zealand in the final.

The 26-year-old is determined to play an active role in the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

"I followed it greatly. It did start to light that fire," Charles said.

"That's where I want to be.

"I've had those dreams since I was a little kid.

"The guys who played in the rugby World Cup final, that's the pinnacle of rugby. You can't reach a higher point."

While Charles is desperate to break back into the Wallabies' fold, his immediate focus remains squarely on helping the Force bounce back from their horror 2015 Super Rugby campaign.

The Force collected the wooden spoon last season, and many pundits are tipping them to struggle yet again, despite the arrival of former Springbok Peter Grant and talented back Ben Tapuai.

In a bid to avoid a repeat of last season, the Force have promised to unleash a speed-and-width game plan that will result in a far more attacking brand of rugby.

"I love it," Charles said of the planned game style.

"Hopefully we'll get some tired fatties down the middle and I can go through what's called fat-man's alley, and sneak a few tries."

Charles is the only known professional athlete with cystic fibrosis who plays a contact sport.

The talented hooker recently spent a four-week block with a strength and conditioning coach in order to get his body into prime shape for the season ahead.