Wykes to Japan, Haylett-Petty re-signs with Force

Western Force fullback Dane Haylett-Petty has extended his stay with the Western Australian Super Rugby franchise for a further two seasons – through to the end of 2017.

The 25-year-old local product returned to the Western Force for the 2014 season, after three seasons playing in France and Japan, and has since re-established himself as a key member of the Western Australian backline.

Haylett-Petty, who started the season at fullback, returned to the Western Force line-up in last weekend’s match against the Sharks, after being sidelined for five matches with a foot injury.

Haylett-Petty’s re-signing coincides with the confirmation that lock Sam Wykes will depart the club at the end of the 2015 season to take up an opportunity in Japan. Wykes, who made his debut for the Force in 2008, has amassed 81 matches for the Force over eight seasons.

Haylett-Petty says he’s pleased to extend his career with the Force.

“I’m really excited to be hanging around for another two years,” he said. “Obviously this is home for me and I love being in Perth with my family and friends, and love pulling on the Force jersey with a great group of boys here.

“The club’s definitely heading in the right direction. We’ve got a great team at the moment, we’ve got excellent coaches and the support staff are fantastic, I feel like my game’s really developing and it’s just a really exciting time to be with the club and I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years.

“The start to the season was always going to be a big challenge for us, but we still feel like there has been improvement in how we’ve been performing. The boys are really excited to be able to play six of our next eight matches at home and build through to the end of the season in front of our amazing Force supporters.”

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says Haylett-Petty will continue to play an important role at the club over the next two seasons.

“Since returning to the club, Dane is developing into a key member of our match 23,” he said.

“He is always looking for ways to threaten the opposition and, to that end, the work he’s putting into his decision-making is allowing him to have an increasing impact on games.”

In regard to Wykes, Foley says he has made – and will continue to make – a significant contribution to the Western Force.

“Sam is a player that has grown considerably over the past three seasons,” he said. “His commitment to the team as a player and leader have earnt him respect across the entire organisation.

“Sam, like Hodgo and Pek, have shown great loyalty to the team, the club and our supporters, often in difficult times and while we’re disappointed to see him head overseas, we’re all looking forward to ripping in with him over the next nine games.”

The Force will play six of its next eight matches at home at the Force Field’ (nib Stadium), starting with the Cheetahs on Saturday, 11 April, which feature as the club’s 10th season anniversary match.

Dane Haylett-Petty
Born: 18/06/1989, Durban, South Africa
Position: Fullback/wing
Club: Cottesloe
Height: 190cm
Weight: 100kg
Super Rugby caps: 23
Super Rugby points: 10
Super Rugby debut: 2008 v Chiefs, Perth
Representative Rugby: 2008-2010, 2013-2015 Western Force, 2008-2009 Australian Under 20, 2007-2008 Australian Sevens, 2007 Australia ‘A’ Schoolboys

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