Hayward bolsters Force backline
Hayward bolsters Force backlineSHARE
Former Hurricanes inside back Jayden Hayward has signed with the Western Force as part of a revamped backline ahead of next season.
Hayward joins the Force as its second foreign developing player, alongside former Cheetahs flyhalf Sias Ebersohn. Former All Black scrumhalf Alby Mathewson is the club's third foreign player, recruited as its marquee international for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Hayward is the eighth new member of the Western Force back division with one Extended Playing Squad contract still available for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
The trio joins fellow newcomers Sam Norton-Knight, Solomoni Rasolea, Mick Snowden, Ed Stubbs and Chris Tuatara-Morrison in the overhauled backline for 2013.
Force coach Michael Foley says Hayward is another quality option for their revamped midfield.
"Jayden's been an frontline centre for Taranaki in the ITM Cup over a number of years and is a young player determined for regular game time in Super Rugby," he said.
"He's a player that provides versatility in the centres, and he knows how to find the tryline. He's a player whose first instinct is to use the football which ties in with our goal of maximising what we do with possession next season.
"We're looking forward to what our backline will offer in 2013 and Jayden is one of a number of up-and-coming players who will make a key contribution to that," he added.
Hayward heads across the Tasman having represented both the Highlanders and Hurricanes at Super Rugby level. The ball-playing inside back made his Super Rugby debut for the Highlanders against the Brumbies in the side's 2009 opening match and went on to represent the Otago side on nine occasions during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
He made the move north to link with the Hurricanes for the 2011 season where he played 15 matches over two years for the Wellington side.
The 25-year-old has been a consistent performer for ITM Cup side, Taranaki, since making his provincial debut in 2008, and has scored 20 tries across 58 matches for the amber-and-blacks.
Hayward says he is looking forward to pushing for regular selection at the Western Force.
"There's been a lot of changes at the Force from last year," he said. "Speaking with Michael Foley, there's a lot going on at the moment and, from the sounds of it, they're changes that the players and the community should be really excited about," he said.
Western Force squad: Chris Alcock, Phoenix Battye, Richard Brown, Nathan Charles, Angus Cottrell, Pek Cowan, Tetera Faulkner, James Hilterbrand, Matt Hodgson, Kieran Longbottom, Toby Lynn, Salesi Ma'afu, Salesi Manu, Lachlan McCaffrey, Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman, Rory Walton, Ben Whittaker, Sam Wykes, Nick Cummins, Patrick Dellit, Sias Ebersohn, Kyle Godwin, Jayden Hayward, Alfie Mafi, Alby Mathewson, Sam Norton-Knight, Ed Stubbs, Solomoni Rasolea, Brett Sheehan, Michael Snowden.