French sortie sparks Dane s resurgence
French sortie sparks Dane's resurgence

Western Force coach Michael Foley raised a few eyebrows when he lured Dane Haylett- Petty home this season.

The local product was left out in the cold by the club four years ago and headed to France, but Foley believed he still had plenty to offer.

"Dane's playing well for us at the moment and will play even better over the next 12-18 months," Foley said.

"There's a lot more for Dane. He's a very talented player.

"You've seen signs of that as far back as when he was first playing for the Force. Obviously, spending a few years in the south of France at Biarritz he's picked up other skills."

In last Saturday night's win over the Lions, the outside back showed why Foley was confident in his signing, producing 13 runs for 129m, three tackle busts and a fine defensive performance.

The former Hale schoolboy and 2008 and 2009 Australian Junior World Cup player managed nine games for the Force from 2008-10.

His reappearance in Force colours came last year in the club's 69-17 loss to the British and Irish Lions, just hours after he agreed to a new deal.

But his first Super appearance of the year against the Waratahs came as a huge surprise.

He had played 60 minutes of club rugby for Cottesloe when he received a call from the Force, who needed him after the late withdrawal of Jayden Hayward.

He arrived at nib Stadium an hour before the game and played 75 minutes.

Since then Haylett-Petty has gone from strength to strength and against the Lions was given a licence to roam with wing partner Nick Cummins.

"I'm really enjoying being back in Perth. It was something I always wanted to do," Haylett-Petty said.

"I was pretty happy with my game on Saturday.

"We talked about previous games where we tried to stick wide and keep our width.

"This week the coaches gave me and Cummo (Cummins) free rein to try and find the ball. I got a few touches, probably more than I've had in the four previous games put together."

The Force's odds of toppling the Crusaders in Christchurch were dealt a blow yesterday when Ben McCalman (head gash) was ruled out of Friday's clash.

The loss of the Wallabies No.8 may hand Brynard Stander an opportunity to start.

Meanwhile, the Force have confirmed that prop Kieran Longbottom is heading to English premier club Saracens next season.

The West Australian

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