McMeniman plans early Force exit
McMeniman plans early Force exit

Hard man Hugh McMeniman will deal the Western Force a blow when he cuts short his contract to join Japanese club Honda.

The Force are reeling from their 22-point loss to the Waratahs in Sunday's season opener and are set to lose Wallaby McMeniman at the end of the season.

McMeniman is signed with the Force until 2015 and the move, if sanctioned by the Australia Rugby Union, will be a huge loss to the club and to Australia.

The man they call Madness was recalled to the Wallabies side for coach Ewen McKenzie's first game in charge in August, making his 22nd Test appearance.

But he sustained a shoulder injury in that game against the All Blacks and later had surgery.

Force coach Michael Foley is likely to pair McMeniman with South African import Wilhelm Steenkamp on Saturday to give his side more steel and go- forward against the Brumbies at nib Stadium.

The Force did not penetrate the Waratahs defence very often in Sunday's 43-21 loss but when McMeniman was introduced from the bench, his first appearance after his operation, he showed he had lost none of his trademark aggression.

Giant Brumbies winger Henry Speight says his side is motivated by revenge for Saturday's clash.

The ACT side went down by five points in last year's Super Rugby final against the Chiefs, but Speight said the final-round 21-15 loss to the Force in Perth had upset their finals build-up.

"It's still very prominent in our memories and that was a stumbling block on the way to the finals," he said.

with Australian Associated Press

The West Australian

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