Rainbow Nation throws up Force X-factor
Rainbow Nation throws up Force X-factor

The days of an open chequebook as the flawed solution for quick success at the Western Force are well and truly buried.

And now, so is paying top dollar for a player who may not be up to Super Rugby standard, just because he is Australian.

The Force, with the Australian Rugby Union's dispensation to sign two international marquee players and six foreign development players who would become eligible to play for the Wallabies, have looked to new pastures and, in particular, South Africa.

There are now eight players from the Rainbow Nation in the playing group - five of them in the Super squad - and coach Michael Foley could not be happier.

"The days of paying a premium price because the player happens to be Australian are over for us, which is great," Foley said.

"I'm absolutely rapt that the guys from South Africa are here.

"We're very open-minded about where we want to recruit from. We want the right person with the right skill sets."

Latest recruit, flanker Brynard Stander, joins new Super signings second-rower Wilhelm Steenkamp, who has played more than 50 Super Rugby games for the Bulls, Cheetahs and Sharks, and centre Marcel Brache and prop Chris Heiberg, both from Western Province.

Fly-half Sias Ebersohn already has one season under his belt after signing from the Cheetahs.

Prop Francois van Wyk, South African junior world winner fly-half/full-back Dillyn Leyds and outside back Dylan Sage are in the wider training group.

"To a man they have brought great attitude and some really different skills sets," Foley said.

"It is quite stimulating for an Australian player to suddenly have three or four South African players in his squad.

"For example, it would be silly not to listen to Wilhelm about mauling. The Bulls know about mauling.

"The South African guys are contributing not just in terms of effort, but in terms of the richness of the rugby that we play.

"The guys here are very humble. When new guys join the team, the thing that stands out is that there is an absence of ego."

┬ĚThe Force have invited two rugby nations to Perth for games as they build up to the start of the season.

They will play Samoa A (February 7) and the Pampas (February 14), regarded as the Argentina A side, before their season opener against the Waratahs in Sydney on February 23.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West