Force secure international trio Komaki, Toia and Hifo for Super W season

The Western Force are excited to announce the signings of a trio of international players to bolster the Club’s 2024 Super W squad with Hinata Komaki, Alanis Toia and Haylee Hifo all joining.

Japan international prop Komaki has signed with the Force as part of the Club’s partnership with Tokyo Sankyu Phoenix. The 22-year-old, who is completing her studies at Nippon Sport Science University, was part of Japan’s squad at the 2021 Rugby World Cup, playing two games as a reserve.

Komaki joins Natsuki Kashiwagi as the Force’s two 2024 signings as part of the Club’s partnership with Tokyo Sankyu Phoenix who they’ll play in two pre-season trial games next month.

Manusina Samoa international lock Toia, 26, has experience in New Zealand’s Farah Palmer Cup with North Harbour and was part of the Manusina Samoa side that won last year’s Oceania Women’s Championship held on the Gold Coast in May and June. Toia, who is a registered nurse and also has a netball background, is the partner of Force men’s player Felix Kalapu.

Outside back Hifo, 21, has represented Tonga in rugby league, including at last year’s Pacific Championships where she faced New Zealand in October in front of 10,000 fans at Eden Park. Hifo, whose father lives in Perth, played for the Joondalup Giants in the 2023 NRLWA season and the Force have been able to convince her to change codes, penning a two-year deal.

Force head coach Dylan Parsons was thrilled with all three signings ahead of the 2024 Super W campaign.

“Hinata comes through our partnership with Tokyo Sankyu Phoenix,” Parsons said. “She’s only 22-years-old but has already had 11 international caps for Japan.

“She is a dynamic, mobile prop which excites us. The Super W competition can be quite free-flowing and to have a prop that adds a different skillset will give us more options within our front row.

“Alanis was making the move to come across to be with Felix but also for her work, so we identified her as a player of interest. She has a really big drive to continue with her rugby and see how far she can take it.

“She’s already established herself as genuine character within the group. She shows good leadership and good balance in her life as well as a registered nurse. She has her head screwed on and has big goals with Manusina Samoa in international competitions coming up. She sees the opportunity with us as another way to make herself a better player leading into those types of opportunities.”

“Haylee is one of the players we’ve been able to get back from rugby league. She played rugby union originally via the Sydney Uni pathway but then went to rugby league. She most recently represented Tonga’s national team. We’ve been able to identify her and get her back.

“We’re really excited as she’s still only young. As an outside back, she offers genuine speed and agility, which adds something different to the wingers we’ve had in the past. Haylee has really impressed us with her athletic abilities but also her professional attitude to how she prepares herself as an athlete.”

The Force open their Super W campaign on Friday March 15 from 4:30pm against the Melbourne Rebels at HBF Park.

Prior to that, the Force women will face Japanese club Tokyo Sankyu Phoenix in two pre-season trial games from Friday 23 February from 4:30pm prior to the Force men’s Super Rugby season opener at HBF Park. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.

2024 Western Force Super W squad: Haylee Hifo, Sheree Hume, Tamika Jones, Natsuki Kashiwagi, Saelua Leaula, Nicole Ledington, Michaela Leonard, Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke, Hinata Komaki, Alapeta Ngauamo, Hannah Palelei, Trilleen Pomare, Anneka Stephens, Pia Tapsell, Harono Te Iringa, Brooklyn Teki-Joyce, Alanis Toia, Braxton Walker, Aiysha Wigley, Samantha Wood - Seneti Kilisimasi, Siutiti Ma’ake (PacificAus Sports scholarships)

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