Western Force have re-signed tough young back-rower Angus Cottrell for two years.

Retaining the majority of the squad that has been the surprise packet in this year's Super Rugby competition has been a priority for coach Michael Foley.

Foley and chief executive Mark Sinderberry are still negotiating with several players including foundation prop Pek Cowan, winger Dane Haylett-Petty and full-back Jayden Hayward who have all said they want to continue their careers in Perth.

Back-rower Hugh McMeniman returns to Japan at the end of this season and Foley may look offshore for a replacement, although Reds flankers Jake Schatz and Ed Quirk have shown interest in the Force.

Cottrell, 24, started in all but one Force match this year and was tipped to make the Wallabies squad for the French Test series before breaking his left leg.

He had been chased by Queensland but revealed in May that he wanted to stay at the Force.

He is in his third season with the Force after being recruited from Brisbane club Wests by then Force coach Richard Graham, now in charge at the Reds.

The Force will welcome Graham back to Perth this Saturday when they clash with his Queensland side in a must-win game at nib Stadium.

"I love coming here every day and I didn't want to go anywhere else to be honest," Cottrell said.

"I feel like I've come a long way. I know I've still got a long way to go but playing alongside guys like Ben McCalman, Hodgo (Matt Hodgson) and Hughy (McMeniman) has been great for my rugby. They make it very easy for me.

"This year has been a special year. What we've done on-field has been great, but it's the confidence and trust that we've had in each other that's made this my one of most enjoyable years playing rugby."

Foley said Cottrell had developed into an important member of his squad.

"Gussy has been excellent this season and it was disappointing to see him sustain an injury when he was playing with such consistency," Foley said.

"His aggressive approach combined well with Hodgo and Ben McCalman in what has been an excellent back row this year."

The West Australian

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