Force scoop up young League star
NEWS: The Western Force have continued to add strength to their backline in the build-up to their 2017 campaign.
They have signed former Western Force Academy member and Wests Tigers Rugby League young gun Chance Peni.
After two years with the Tigers the former Junior Kiwi and capped Cook Islands Rugby League representative says he is excited to return to his home state and begin the next chapter of his young career with the Western Force.
"I'm really happy now that I've made the decision to come back to rugby union with the Western Force and I'm pretty excited to see how it all turns out," he said.
"I always said that I was going to come back to union someday. I didn't think it would happen so soon but when the offer came I was excited to make the switch and it's good that I can do it back where it all started."
Born in New Zealand and raised in Perth, the 22-year-old began his Rugby Union career in Western Australia with Wests Subiaco (now Wests Scarborough) and played West Australian Schoolboys alongside current Western Force youngsters Luke Burton, Harry Scoble, Kane Koteka and Richard Hardwick.
"It will be good to play again with some of the boys that I used to play with. We used to do pretty well together and we mixed really well so it's exciting to be back playing with some of the boys that I pretty much grew up with."
Standing at 190cm and weighing in at 97kg the former Aranmore Catholic College student possesses explosive speed and strength in contact and despite playing in the centres in the 13-man code is being touted as an exciting outside back prospect for the Force.
"I'll play anywhere to get my head back into that union mindset, I'm pretty comfortable on the wing or in the centres so I'll play wherever Dave [Wessels] wants me to play."
"For now I'm just really looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season, it's always good to get started again after a long off-season, I can't wait."
Western Force coach Dave Wessels says the club is ecstatic to have added such a high-quality young player to the squad.
"It's funny how things work out, Chance was actually a Development Officer here at the Force a few years ago so he is a rugby man through-and-through. He is excited to be coming back home and we are excited to have him.
"He is very athletic, he's a very big outside back and from everything I've heard he is an incredibly hard worker so we are very pleased to bring him home."
"It's a good win for rugby union to lure players back from League. In both Chance and Curtis Rona we have two very good rugby league players who have strong union backgrounds and they are going to make a big impact next season."
Western Force Attack Coach Shaun Berne says the coaching staff can't wait to see what the young gun can do in the blue jersey.
"How can you not be excited with a guy like Chance, who doesn't love watching a big, strong, fast guy who scores tries?"
"With his physique and his size and skill he brings so much excitement to the game and anytime he gets the ball the opposition feel threatened and it excites us as coaches and I'm sure the supporters too."