The Western Force will add to their backline stocks for the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the signing of Gloucester centre Bill Meakes on a two-year deal.
The former Australia Sevens and Australia U20 representative scored seven tries in his 45 appearances for Gloucester and joins the Western Force after being granted a release to pursue a career in Super Rugby.
Standing at 185cm and weighing in at 100kg Meakes is a powerful ball runner with good footwork, a knack for breaking the first tackle and possesses great skills with ball in hand.
The Sydney-born outside centre is already training with the squad and says he is thrilled to be at the Western Australian club.
“I am absolutely stoked to be here and looking forward to getting stuck in,” he said.
“I met the boys just a few days ago and everyone has been extremely welcoming and the city looks beautiful so I’m really excited to be here for the next two years.”
With many Australian players opting to ply their trade in Europe, Meakes has gone the other way saying the opportunity to play Asteron Life Super Rugby for the Western Force was too good to pass up.
“Playing in England was definitely the turning point for me I couldn’t quite crack it before I left and Super Rugby was a massive goal for me but that time in Europe allowed me to develop into the player I am today.”
“Growing up, playing Super Rugby was always a goal for me. Playing club footy you get so close but I didn’t quite get there so I guess it was unfinished business for me. Once the opportunity came with the Force I was really keen to take it.”
Interim Head Coach Dave Wessels feels Meakes is a strong signing for the club and has brought a great attitude from the start.
“We are very excited about what Bill can bring to club,” he said.
“We have heard and seen a lot of good things coming out of Gloucester. He has come in with a great attitude and there is no doubt he is going to be great asset for us moving forward.”
“Obviously Bill has arrived here very early and I think that shows a real keenness to get involved and start working which is exactly the type of player we want.
"All the way through the negotiations it was very clear that he is extremely ambitious and has a hunger to perform which is a great attribute to have.”