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Academy graduates called up to main squad

The Western Force is delighted to announce that Siosifa Amone, George Poolman, Rupeni Mataele, Andrew Romano and Ned Slack-Smith have been elevated to the Wider Training Squad for 2023.

The five graduates make the step up to the professional program having been part of the Western Force Fortescue Academy (Academy) Tier 1 setup in 2022.

General Manager of the Academy Chris Goodman is proud of the group and the attitude they’ve shown this year. “First and foremost, they are men of great character and fully deserve this opportunity,” Goodman explained. “These players have worked hard to put themselves in a position to earn a Wider Training Squad contract.

“We view these players as ones who will be able to make an impact for the senior team in 2023 and 2024. This builds depth in key positions that the club is looking to strengthen in the years to come.

“They know they must keep performing and developing further now they’ve earned their first professional deal. All of them will remain involved with the academy and work with the coaches to continue the on and off-field growth.

"There is still potential for more players within the Academy to enter the main squad through their performances at club, state, and national represenative levels before next season."

Academy Head Coach and Senior Skills Coach Dylan Parsons emphasised the importance of nurturing young talent and providing a pathway in WA.

“To me, seeing these players graduate is a reflection of the strong progress the academy has made and embodies what we’re trying to build here at the Force,” Parsons noted.

“As coaches, our objective is to develop players to a point where they can make the step up to the professional level, so it’s very pleasing to see them reach this point. This is a special moment for them and the academy.” “We want to create passion and a connection to the Force and WA for these players, so that when they gain their chance in Super Rugby, they want to remain here to represent all that the club stands for and provide an example for the next generation.”

The quintet will join the senior squad for the first block of pre-season later in the year in preparation for the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific campaign while continuing to work within the Academy to hone their off-field development.

Graduating Players

Siosifa Amone - Tighthead Prop - Associates George Poolman - Centre/Fly-Half - Sydney University Rupeni Mataele - Wing Andrew Romano - Loosehead Prop - Cottesloe Ned Slack-Smith - Back Row - Palmyra/Warringah

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