Force add punch to the pack

Mon, 26 Aug 2013 09:29
Large heath tessmann force

The Western Force's focus on building an increasingly physical forward pack for the 2014 Super Rugby season has received a further boost.

The Western Force's focus on building an increasingly physical forward pack for the 2014 Super Rugby season has received a further boost with the retention of hooker Heath Tessmann for another two seasons.

The Western Australian side will add further size and physicality to their forwards for 2014, with Tessmann joining the likes of new recruits Wilhelm Steenkamp (Bulls) and Chris Heiberg (Western Province), as well as Matt Hodgson, Hugh McMeniman, Ben McCalman, Tetera Faulkner and Sam Wykes, who have each recommitted to the Force this season.

Head coach Michael Foley says Tessmann's re-signing will add to a physical forward unit in 2014.

"We're developing a forward pack that is not only skilled in the set piece but also has the ability to have an impact in the open - and Heath fits that bill," he said.

"After joining the wider training squad during the pre-season, he earned the respect of the whole team through his strong work ethic.

"His determination to persevere over a number of seasons to achieve his first start is a tribute to his character. That quality, coupled with a number of excellent contributions, makes him a valuable member of the team into the future."

Tessmann joined the team as a member of the Western Force's Wider Training Group last season before being elevated into the senior squad as injury cover for Ben Whittaker (broken foot) and later Nathan Charles (knee reconstruction).

The 29-year-old rake, who started 10 matches in the Force's No.2 jersey this season, finished in the top five in the 2013 Nathan Sharpe Medal tally and says he's looking forward to further developing with the Western Force over the next two years.

"Since arriving at the Force my game has improved considerably and I'm excited about continuing that development within the program," he said.

"A lot of the technical work I've been doing with Foles [Foley] has been very beneficial for my game specifically, and it's been exciting to see us improving across a number of key areas as a team this season.

"It's exciting to be a part of a team on the up. We definitely turned the corner this year and the recruitment for next season will only continue that development. With a number of guys like Benny McCalman, Hugh McMeniman and Wykesy also re-signing this year, we've got a core group of players that played together this season and will continue to develop together over the next few years.

"There's a great vibe within the team at the moment, even during the off-season training block. While we're as far out from the season as we could be and it would be easy for guys to be just going through the motions, everyone's really motivated and the feeling within the squad is extremely positive. Guys who've been here for a number of years like Hodgo [Hodgson], Wykesy [Wykes] and Pek [Cowan] are all reaching personal bests in the gym, and there's a number of younger guys who are pushing the older ones all the way."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19