The Force has signed five new major international signings bolstering our squad selections. It’s set to be a massive season for the Force, with the finalised squad shaping up to be dominant in depth and numbers.
Michaela Leonard - Second row
In 2019 Leonard made her debut for the Wallaroos, just one year after playing her first match of 15-a-side rugby in Canberra. Before that, she was identified as one of Australia’s top junior basketballers. Since then, Leonard has earned 14 Caps for the Wallaroos and was a member of the 2021 Rugby World Cup Wallaroo Squad. Spending four years at Brumbies and currently playing for Exeter Chiefs in the UK Premiership competition, Leonard is a key addition for the Force and will be welcomed ahead of the Super W competition on March 24.
Natsuki Kashiwagi - Front row
Kashiwagi has landed from Tokyo Sankyu Phoenix Rugby Club in Japan. Specialising in the front row, Kashiwagi brings utility value with the ability to play across all three positions. Her strength at set-piece and strong ball-carrying ability saw her start in every fixture in the Japan National XVs league in 2022/23, finishing as National Champions. Hailing from the port city of Kamaishi, Kashiwagi is a versatile prop continuing to learn her trade here in the West.
Atlanta Lolohea – Front row
Lolohea joins the Force with sister Martha Mataele (wife of Manasa Mataele) from NZ Farah Palmer Cup side Canterbury. Lolohea is currently playing for Matatu in the NZ Aupiki Competition and will join the hooker trio for the Western Force ahead of the 2023 Super W season.
Rachel Laqeretabua - Wing
Earning five caps for Fiji, Laqeretabua brings an enormous amount of experience at the highest level. Last season saw her in the blue and teal for the Fijiana Drua, winning the competition in a thrilling Super W Grand Final. For the previous two seasons (2019 – 2021) Laqeretabua was a part of the Saracens Rugby Club in the UK Premiership competition and was a regular in the starting line-up, proving to be a dominant try-scorer.
Yuna Sato – Lock
With ten Japan International caps, and the experience of the 2022 Women's Rugby World Cup under her belt, Santo is a versatile Lock eager to make her mark at the Force. She was an essential part of the Tokyo Phoenix Rugby Club, who won their National Championship alongside teammate Natsuki Kashiwagi. Continuously relentless in the lineout, Sato is a technical player who has no fear around the contact space. A reliable teammate and fantastic asset to the Western Force Super W squad.