Force sign key trio as rebuilding starts
Ben McCalman

The Western Force have retained three key players as they rebuild for next year's Super Rugby season.

Wallabies flankers Ben McCalman and Richard Brown and tough scrum-half Brett Sheehan have re-signed for another season.

Sheehan's decision may have caught some by surprise as there were suggestions that he had been looking for a move overseas.

Recapturing his signature is crucial to the Force following the debacle that surrounded the audacious failed bid for Will Genia.

Genia had agreed to sign for the club but backed down after the Queensland Reds launched a well-organised campaign to put pressure on the Wallabies scrum-half.

McCalman joined the Force in 2010 and now has 37 Super games and 21 Wallabies caps under his belt. The Force waited for the Australian Rugby Union component in his contract to be completed before making the announcement.

Brown made his Super Rugby debut when he came off the bench in the Force's inaugural game against the Brumbies. He has made 72 appearances and 23 Test outings.

Their signing will be confirmed today and comes on the back of yesterday's signing of Australian sevens star Junior Rasolea and Cheetahs fly-half Sias Ebershon two weeks ago.

The hard-running Rasolea, 21, who plays inside and outside centre, has been a regular with the Australian Thunderbolts and will replace Gene Fairbanks who is moving to Japanese club Mitsubishi Dynaboars next season.

He was spotted by national sevens coach Michael O'Connor playing for the newSTAR academy side that upset Australia in the grand final of the Noosa International Sevens. A former Queensland schoolboy representative, the 102kg Rasolea also played for Fiji in the 2011 International Rugby Board junior world championship.

It was another graduate from Anglican Church Grammar School, David Pocock, who played centre in his school days, that helped him decide to move to the Force.

"I remember seeing clips of him at school playing inside centre. He was a star and someone I looked up to," he said.

Force chief executive Vern Reid said Rasolea had a big future.

"Junior has already demonstrated that he's a player with a lot of potential," he said.

Ebersohn has joined the Force on a two-year deal as the club's foreign developing player. They had been chasing the "Baby Bok", who played for South Africa in the 2009 IRB Junior World Cup, since 2010.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West