Strategist to apply pressure at Force
Steve Meehan

The new Western Force coaching team will include one of the brains behind the Queensland Reds' 2011 Super Rugby title.

Strategy and kicking coach Philip Fowler, a sports psychologist, has been recruited by coach Michael Foley to join forwards mentor Nick Stiles and attack coach Steve Meehan.

It is understood David Wessels, one of South Africa's best defensive tacticians, has also been approached to act as a consultant.

Foley has been quick to put his mark on the club with a new coaching set-up he hopes will be the key to a change in fortunes.

Fowler had a similar role at the Reds and was described by Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie as a straight-shooting former Kiwi who had mentored him in the dark arts of team psychology for many years.

Fowler was described as one of McKenzie's "pillars and guru" and the Reds coach said he revelled in applying knowledge to game strategies and finding pressure points in the Reds and their opponents.

Fowler worked with Wallabies coach Eddie Jones during the 2003 World Cup campaign, joined McKenzie for the first time at the Waratahs that year and was with him at Stade Francais in Paris.

He also worked with the All Blacks under Laurie Mains.

He helped turn Wallaby Mike Harris, of the Reds, into one of Super Rugby's best kickers.

He has an exceptional rugby brain but is said to be frank in his views, which may have led to his departure from the Reds in April.

Wessels was used by Brumbies coach Jake White last season after he had turned the Cape Town-based Stormers defence into the tightest in Super Rugby.

He spent time with the Western Province Under-21 side and helped the University of Cape Town to their first Varsity Cup title last year.

Meehan spent five years at UK premiership club Bath, leading them to the European Challenge Cup. Before moving to Bath, he was at Stade Francais when they won three French championship finals and a Heineken Cup.

Under Stiles, who re-signed with the club in June, the Force forwards were at times outstanding in an under-performing side last season.

Foley has also been joined by his former Waratahs team manager Chris Webb as high-performance manager. He is working with Foley on player recruitment as they prepare to fill the remaining three vacant spots in their 2013 squad.

The West Australian

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