The Force is strong with Tessmann

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 09:50
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NEWS: Veteran hooker Heath Tessmann has re-signed with the Western Force for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Capped 63 times in Super Rugby, 'Tess' will head into his fifth season with the team, after first signing in 2013 as an injury cover before playing his way into a full contract and becoming a vital member of the squad.

The ever reliable rake played nine games last season for the Force before being struck down with a leg injury, but bounced back remarkably well in this year's National Rugby Championship (NRC). Captaining the side to a grand final win and showing some of his best form to date.

The 32-year-old says the Western Force is where he wants to continue his career and is excited about the future of the team with Dave Wessels at the helm.

"This is exactly where I want to be playing my rugby," he said. "I've got a lot of faith in this team and this organisation going forward and it's nice that they've shown faith in me as well.

"Dave's a great appointment by the club and going forward all the coaches they have appointed are coming here for the right reasons. It's already been great getting stuck into pre-season and the whole squad just can’t wait to rip in next year."

Tessmann will take the reigns as one of the most senior players in the squad and says that is an opportunity and title he relishes.

"I think it's something everyone strives for no matter what team you're in. You want to be the guy wearing the starting jersey in whatever position you're in and you want to be the guy that leads by example.

"Although, with the likes of Tatafu [Polota-Nau], Anaru [Rangi] and Harry [Scoble] in the ranks, they're going to provide a good challenge and whoever ends up wearing that number two jersey next year will have earnt it."

The Perth Spirit captain praised the current NRC competition and says it has been extremely beneficial for his game but also great to see recognition of great local talent.

"For me personally I love playing in the competition, it's fast so it’s pretty demanding for most of us front rowers running around out there with some of those whippets, but it's just great.

"It's also just been great for developing players. Guys like Manihera Eden and Eric Vasukicakau who were given an opportunity to step up to the next level and really showed a lot."

Western Force head coach Dave Wessels says that Tessmann is an excellent re-signing for the team and is a vital part of this team.

"Heath is a leader both on and off the field," he said. "He's very competitive, but he's also a very outgoing social person around the club and when you blend those together you end up with a really nice mix."

With so much experience in the forward stocks Wessels says it will be competitive for spots next season and that's a good thing.

"I think competition is good for all of our tight five and it will bring the best out in each of them, while also having a really nice mix of experienced guys and a few younger men who will no doubt push them pretty hard.

"'Tess' sets really high standards for the team and he’s a big part of our leadership structure next year."

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Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
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Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28