Planet Rugby

Mathewson extends Force stay

23rd May 2014 07:18

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Alby Mathewson Western Force v Waratahs SR 2014

Staying put: Alby Mathewson

Former All Black scrum-half Alby Mathewson has extended his stay with the Western Force, re-signing for an additional two years through until 2016.

The 28-year-old joined the Western Force for the 2013 Super Rugby season as a marquee international signing having previously represented the Hurricanes (2007-2009) and Blues (2010-2012).

Mathewson, who has received dispensation from the Australian Rugby Union to remain with the Force, played each match in 2013, and started the first seven matches of 2014 before he was sidelined with an ankle injury.

The four-Test All Black, who passed 100 Super Rugby matches this year, said he's excited about remaining with the Western Force for another two seasons.

"We love it here and I'd never wanted to leave, there were just a few things that needed to be sorted out before I could stay," he told the Western Force's official website.

"While there was interest from elsewhere, I was always holding out hope that it would work out this way and I'd stay.

"I love being part of what we have at the Force and it's great to be a part of an actual 'team'.

"I know it gets talked about a bit in the media, but it's great to be a part of the culture of this team, everyone is really tight as a group and there's no egos.

"I love everything about the Force from the players, to the coaches, to the staff in the office and our supporters.

"I love where the team's heading. Obviously we had a pretty disappointing season last year but I knew we were better than what we showed.

"We've had some success this season and while we're only the second year in, we've made some great gains and I believe we're only going to get better.

"There have been some games we've dropped that we shouldn't have, and the boys were disappointed with last week's performance.

"South Africa's a tough place to play and I think the boys were off a bit mentally, but they've been really strong in addressing that this week.

"The boys are excited to be playing back at home and this is a big game for us this weekend [against the Lions].

"We've had a number of guys chosen in the Wallabies and they'll have a point to prove this weekend.

"This is a must win game for us and I know the boys will go out and put in a good performance."

Western Force head coach Michael Foley said Mathewson has become a respected senior member of the playing squad.

"Alby has been immense for us since joining the team," he said.

"It's not just his consistency on field, it's also the standards he holds himself to off it. He is a great competitor who challenges himself and the team to constantly look for improvement.

"Separately, his wife Cara and his son Nixon have become part of our "team family" and I speak on behalf of the whole organisation when I say how thrilled we are to have them all stay with us in Perth."

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