Planet Rugby

Western Force bolster their ranks

11th October 2013 07:58

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Rory Walton Western Force SR 2013

Happy in Perth: Rory Walton

The Western Force have re-signed lock Rory Walton and recruited Waratahs second row Adam Coleman and Brumbies hooker Robbie Abel, who is currently playing for Northland in the ITM Cup.

The Perth-based franchise's coach Michael Foley has added the trio to the already aggressive forward pack including the experienced Matt Hodgson, Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman, Sam Wykes and Heath Tessmann, who have also re-signed with the club this year.

Walton, Coleman and Abel join local players Luke Burton and Ryan Louwrens in the Force's extended playing squad for the 2014 season.

"Our recruitment focus has been to identify forwards that not only show potential in the set piece, but are also skilful in open play," Foley told the Western Force's official website.

"Rory worked extremely hard this year and was rewarded for his perseverance and strong work ethic with his first opportunity at Super Rugby level.

"He's demonstrated a desire and ability to compete that established him as a respected member of the squad.

"Adam joined us for four weeks during the pre-season and improved significantly in that short period. He's now had his first taste of Super Rugby and we're pleased to be able to bring him into the squad to continue his rugby development."

"While Robbie has taken a couple of years out of the game, his performances in the ITM Cup for Northland, have shown that with more hard work, he has the capacity to compete at a Super Rugby level."

Walton became a crowd favourite for the Force in 2013 with his powerful approach to his rugby and raw emotion on the field.

The lock recorded eight caps in his debut season, including his first start against the Waratahs in Round 17, and is thrilled to return to the club in 2014.

"I came into the club at the start of the year with the goal to push my case and make sure that I was contributing everything I had to the team and to be able to do that again this year is really exciting," he said.

"I'm pretty excited to be putting my best foot forward and hoping to get a few more caps under my belt.

"I understand that I'm learning my trade; a builder doesn't get his licence until he's done three or four years so I'm happy to continue learning off a couple of guys who've been doing it a lot longer than me.

"The club has definitely taken a turn in the right direction and we're on the up.

"I think this year we're not going to be satisfied with just putting up a fight and being close in games, now it comes down to being able to get results and I think our satisfaction this year will come down to being a consistent team and winning the football games that we should win."

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