The West

Force centre s second chance
Force centre's second chance

New Western Force signing Chris Tuatara-Morrison has been given a second chance in professional sport and is determined to make sure it does not slip away again.

After a stalled rugby league career, he made the switch to union last year and within 12 months signed for the Force for the next two seasons.

"It's a dream come true. Rugby's been real good to me and I want to return the favour," Tuatara-Morrison said.

The powerful inside centre represented NSW Schoolboys in 2004, but switched to league and signed with the Melbourne Storm.

As a 20-year-old he was in the same Canterbury squad as Sonny Bill Williams and played two NRL games for the Bulldogs before spending time with Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers.

He thought his big chance had gone and in 2011 had a stint with the Oxford Harlequins union club in England. It came to an early end after he broke a foot.

He returned to Wests Tigers on a short-term deal.

French league club Catalans made an offer, but he decided to switch codes after talks with former Force and Wallabies back-rower Scott Fava, head coach at Sydney club Northern Suburbs.

"I'd had a bit of a mixed career. Two years ago, I had a bit of a crack at rugby and fell back on my laurels and went back to rugby league," the 25-year-old said.

"Scotty had a good talk to me at the start of last season. I had a pretty good year and Michael Foley had a couple of chats with me. It was a massive move for me. Last year was the first time I was 100 per cent committed to playing rugby and it worked out well for me.

"I can't wait for the season to come along. We've been in pre-season for over 10 weeks and I'm champing at the bit to get into the game.

"I'm definitely looking at trying to crack the No.12. There are a lot of good players here and trial form's going to be the key to cracking the No.12.

"At the end of the day, we're rugby players and we've got to perform on the field. No one's spot is cemented yet. Trials are going to be pretty massive.

"My trial form has got to be pretty good. There are a few good centres here."

New-Zealand born Tuatara-Morrison will not be the first in his family to make it into the big time.

His cousin Temuera Morrison played Jake "the Muss" Heke in the film Once Were Warriors and his grandfather Sir Howard Morrison was one of New Zealand's leading television and concert performers. He was knighted for his services to the entertainment industry.

The West Australian

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