Western Force captain Feleti Kaitu’u and Jack Winchester have committed their future to the club by signing new two-year deals.
The hooker duo will remain with the Force for the 2023 and 2024 Super Rugby Pacific campaigns.
Kaitu’u, who earned his first three Wallabies caps in September last year during the Rugby Championship series, led the Force during the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign after being named captain in February.
Since joining the club in 2018, Kaitu’u has been a commanding presence in the Force’s front row throughout his 48 appearances.
The 27-year-old is entering the prime of his career and has been selected in the Australia A squad for the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji.
Kaitu’u remains as hungry and determined as ever to achieve success with the Force.
“I’m excited to continue our pursuit of perfection every day, every week, and every year. I’m excited by the opportunity to leave the jersey in a better place than it was found.
“We want to be the best in all that we do. I hope that through hard work, discipline, and persistence, I can be an example for others.”
“The Force has a special place in my heart. The club has made me a better man and a better footballer. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.”
Former Junior Wallaby hooker Winchester joined the Force in 2021 and has since made six appearances after making his Super Rugby debut against the Brumbies in last season’s opening fixture.
Having gained valuable game time in his four games during the 2022 campaign, the 22-year-old will continue to grow his game alongside his Wallaby teammates in the forward pack.
Winchester is relishing the opportunity to learn from the experienced players around him, while aiming to earn more caps in the seasons to come.
“It’s hard to put into words how excited I am to be re-signing. I’ve made Perth my home over the past two years, and I’ve loved every second of it,” Winchester said.
“The playing group and wider organisation mean a lot to me, so it feels great to be a part of the club for the next two years, as we continue to grow. “Being a young player, I want to grow with the club and see what we can achieve together. The story of the Western Force is inspiring, and I know there are exciting times ahead.”
General manager of rugby Matt Hodgson is delighted to have Kaitu’uand Winchester continue their journey with the Force.
“These are major re-signings, as they demonstrate the belief from the experienced and young players in what we’re building towards for 2023 and beyond,” Hodgson explained.
“Feleti’s leadership and quality on and off the field has been invaluable to the club since his arrival in 2018,” Hodgson said.
“Jack has developed his game and professionalism greatly since arriving at the club. He is a player of great character and I know he will make the most of the opportunities he earns.”
Feleti Kaitu’u Birthday: 30/12/1994 Super Rugby Caps: 35 Western Force Caps: 48 Wallabies Caps: 3
Jack Winchester Birthday: 22/6/2000 Super Rugby Caps: 6 Western Force Caps: 6