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Hurricane breezes in to bolster Force back line
Hurricane breezes in to bolster Force back line

UPDATE: Hurricanes and Taranaki centre Jayden Hayward is the final Western Force signing for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

Today's announcement, and first reported on thewest.com.au last month,, brings the Force Super squad to 30 players with one more space to be filled in the extended playing squad of five.

An outside back is expected to be signed to finalise that group.

Hayward, 25, is the Force's second overseas development player. He has signed a two-year deal.

“Jayden’s been an frontline centre for Taranaki in the ITM Cup over a number of years and is a young player determined for regular game time in Super Rugby,” coach Michael Foley said.

“He’s a player that provides versatility in the centres, and he knows how to find the try line. He’s a player whose first instinct is to use the football which ties in with our goal of maximising what we do with possession next season.

“We’re looking forward to what our backline will offer in 2013 and Jayden is one of a number of up-and-coming players who will make a key contribution to that.”

Hayward sees plenty of opportunites at Force.

“There’s been a lot of changes at the Force from last year,” he said. “Speaking with Michael Foley, there’s a lot going on at the moment and, from the sounds of it, they’re changes that the players and the community should be really excited about.

“This move gives me a fresh start and a new opportunity. I’m really hungry for this chance and can’t wait to start training and doing my bit to work my way into the 22.

“I’d like to think I can bring some experience with me to the Force with four years of Super Rugby under my belt. On field, I like to be identifying space and looking to put my outside men into that space and scoring tries.

“I’m also excited about living in Perth which is where my wife calls home. I actually met her in Perth about three or four years ago and dragged her across to New Zealand, so it’s nice that we can come back there to both pursue our careers.”

Under Australian Rugby Union rules, Force can have three international players.

All Blacks scrum-half Alby Mathewson is the marquee signing and former Cheetahs fly-half Sias Ebersohn the second development player.

Hayward, who can play at centre or fly-half, arrived in Perth at the weekend after gaining a release from his New Zealand Rugby Union contract and the Force receiving ARU permission for the signing.

He had a year left on his contract with the Hurricanes but told teammates he was leaving after Taranaki lost their ITM Cup semifinal to Canterbury two weeks ago.

Hayward joined the Hurricanes last year after two seasons with the Highlanders.

He made a rapid rise from the Hurricanes' wider training group but spent much of last season on the reserves bench.