Welcome mat out for Force back
Welcome mat out for Force back

Home-grown talent Dane Haylett-Petty is back for his second crack at Super Rugby with the Western Force, six years after making his debut.

The former Hale School student, who played nine games for the Force, has returned from a three-year spell with French club Biarritz after agreeing to a one-season contract with the Force.

He has had a busy few months, playing for Toyota in Japan where he was coached by former Force hooker Tai McIsaac, a few months after the French season ended.

Haylett-Petty arrived back in Perth last week having re-signed the same day he made an unexpected appearance for the Force against the touring British and Irish Lions last June.

He sat out the Force's crushing 69-3 trial win over Samoa A last week but is hoping to line up with his new teammates against the Argentina Pampas or in the return clash with Samoa A in the Force A side, both at nib Stadium on Friday.

Only a handful of players, including captain Matt Hodgson, Sam Wykes, Nick Cummins and Pek Cowan, are still at the club but Haylett-Petty has found a couple of other familiar faces in Luke Morahan and Patrick Dellit, who he knew from Sydney's Shute Shield when he played for Gordon.

"It's very, very good to be back. I've had a couple of days training with the boys but they are in great shape and I've got a long way to go," he said.

"They are in the best shape I've ever seen them. There is a great culture being built and they are working hard.

"I've got a bit of work to do, particularly on the way we are going to play. It's very structured and I've got a lot of knowledge to catch up on.

"There is certainly a lot more depth to the squad than when I was here before."

Haylett-Petty, 24, who played for the Australian under-20 side in the 2009 world junior championships, has played across the back line in France and Japan.

While he prefers full-back or wing, he may be used at outside centre by coach Michael Foley.

"My preference is full-back because that's where I've played the most but Foles (Foley) has said maybe 13, but that will take a while because I would have a bit to learn" Haylett-Petty said.

At the time of the signing, Foley said: "Dane's had a number of good seasons with Biarritz and demonstrated against the British and Irish Lions a desire to work off his wing and will have a lot to offer us next season." DID YOU KNOW? 9 The number of games Dane Haylett-Petty played for the Western Force in his debut year

The West Australian

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