Local Western Force product Dane Haylett-Petty has re-signed for 2015, the club’s 10th anniversary season.
Haylett-Petty returned to the Force this year after three seasons at Biarritz and a stint in Japan. The outside back had been at the Force for three seasons from 2008 after graduating through the RugbyWA academy.
He made a memorable 2014 debut, starting in the 28-16 win over the Waratahs after being dragged out of club rugby where he had already played 70 minutes for Cottesloe an hour earlier.
He went on to start in eight more matches after recovering from an early season groin injury.
The Hale School graduate, who has represented Australia at Schoolboys and under-20 level, will play along side his brother Ross, a 2014 Australian under-20 Junior World Cup squad member, with Perth Spirit in the inaugural National Rugby Championship.
Haylett-Petty said he had enjoyed his return to the Force.
“I’ve really enjoyed coming back to the Force and getting back to Perth with all my friends and family,” he said.
“I missed the first six weeks of the season this year, which wasn’t ideal, but I then played nine of the last 10.
“I felt like I was starting to find some form at the end of the season, but unfortunately the end came too soon. I’m really looking forward to getting back next year and pushing for a place in that back three again.
“It’s been great to come into such a great group of boys here at the Force. The group is very tight, the culture is really strong and continues to grow, and it’s just a pleasure to come to training every day.
“That said, it’s important that we continue to work hard as it would be shame to take a step backward after all the advances we’ve made this season.”
“It’s great to see so many local guys coming through. Each year the number of local players seems to be growing and there seems to be more and more excellent young talent coming through which is fantastic.
“It just shows at all the work that’s been done by the Force over the past 10 years to develop these players is paying off.”
Coach Michael Foley said the club had been keen to retain Haylett-Petty beyond the 2014 season.
“Having watched Dane play in the French competition for Biarritz, it was clear he’d developed excellent game understanding to compliment a good pass, run and kick skill set,” he said.
“On that basis and the fact that he is one of our Perth boys, we were keen for him to rejoin the team.
“While Dane can play 15, wing and centre, the character he displayed in his performance as a last-minute inclusion against the Waratahs emphasised why we had to ensure he remained part of the squad into the future.”