Western Force bring in Tapuai

Date published: July 7 2015

The Western Force have announced the signing of Reds centre Ben Tapuai for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Tapuai will join the Force having played 66 Super Rugby matches across seven seasons for the Reds, including starting at inside centre for the Queenslanders in their title-winning team in 2011.

The 26-year-old, who previously represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2006 and 2007, and Australian U20 (2008), has played seven Tests for the Wallabies, starting in six of them during the 2012 Rugby Championship and Spring Tour.

Force head coach Michael Foley said Tapuai will bring further experience to his young midfield.

"While we already have a number of talented young players within our backline, we have identified the need to bring in some additional experience ahead of next season," he told the Western Force's official website.

"Ben is a powerful athlete who is able to use his feet and passing game to challenge the defence.

"Having been a starting '13' in a Super Rugby-winning side, and a starting '12' at Test level, Ben helps provide the skills and experience we've been looking for."

Tapuai is looking forward to joining the Western Force in his eighth season of Super Rugby in 2016.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to challenge myself in a different environment," he said. 

"I've absolutely loved my time at the Reds but I felt like I need a new and different environment to be able to challenge myself further and move forward.

"There's an exciting squad at the Force at the moment and I'd like to think that I can bring some more experience to the squad from what I've learnt over the years, and contribute to helping us improve as a team.

"I spoke to Luke [Morahan], who's said what a good place the Force and Perth is to play rugby, and when I heard that Jono [Lance] signed – who I've also played with at school and the Reds – it was great to have the chance to play with him again too."