Western Force re-sign local pair for 2016 season

The Western Force have re-signed Brad Lacey

Perth’s Super Rugby team the Western Force have re-signed two of their local players in Kane Koteka and Brad Lacey for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

The Wests Scarborough pair, both 21, were involved with the Western Australian squad in 2015, and will return as part of the Force’s Extended Playing Squad (EPS) in 2016.

After starting last season in the Future Force academy programme, Kane Koteka earned his Asteron Life Super Rugby debut off the bench against the Hurricanes in Week Three in the absence of injured skipper Matt Hodgson. The mobile openside flanker made the most of his opportunity, going on to earn a further nine caps in his maiden season in the competition.

The Perth-born, former WA age group representative and Perth Spirit back-rower says he’s keen to continue his push for further caps in 2016.

“I’m really stoked to be back again for next season,” he said. “Since I was a boy, all I’ve wanted to do is play for the Force. I’ve been in the Academy since I was in the Under 14’s and we were always looking up to the Force players; to be a player that other young players might look up to now is very humbling.

“Being a part of the Future Force this year was fantastic for me and helped me reach that goal of playing for the Force, and I’m very grateful to everyone who’s helped me to get to this point.

“Last year was amazing. The main thing was proving myself to the boys and fortunately I went well enough and I was just stoked to get that opportunity. I was a bit star-struck initially but I’m hoping to be able to improve on those performances next year.”

Winger Brad Lacey renews his EPS contract for next season after being a member of the senior squad this year.

The Australian Under 20 representative was denied his Asteron Life Super Rugby debut last season when he suffered a quad strain in the final training session after being selected for his would-be maiden appearance against the Highlanders.

The former Canning Vale College student has been a regular fixture on the wing for the Perth Spirit in the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship, crossing for three tries for the Spirit in 2015.

Lacey says he’s determined to press for his elusive Asteron Life Super Rugby debut next season.

“It’s a new challenge for me this year and important that I’m continuing to develop and pushing harder for a spot in that match day squad,” he said.

“I was in the crowd for the Force’s first-ever home win and I’ve wanted to play for the Force for as long as I can remember.

“It was a hollow feeling to have that opportunity ripped away from me by injury last season but it’s only motivated me more to get back there again.

“I learned a lot last season. When you’ve got experienced players around you like Dane Haylett-Petty, Marcel [Brache] and Luke Morahan, who are so willing to help, let you know what you can do better and give you that encouragement, it urges you on to keep playing and performing better.”

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says the pair are part of the next generation of Western Force players.

“Brad and Kane are both products of our local pathway system, who have benefitted from the development our junior clubs and [Junior Elite Coach] Dwayne Nestor have provided,” he said.

“Kane is a tough back-rower, who made the most of his opportunities this season, while Brad has worked hard to develop his skills and consistency through this year’s NRC campaign.”

Name: Kane Koteka
Born: 08/01/1994, Perth
Position: Flanker
Club: Wests Scarborough
Height: 182cm
Weight: 94kg
Super Rugby caps: 10
Super Rugby points: 0
Super Rugby debut: 2015 v Hurricanes, Perth
Representative Rugby: 2015 Western Force; 2014-2015 Perth Spirit; 2014 Combined States Under 20; 2014 WA Under 20; 2013-2014 Force ‘A’; 2012 Perth Gold; 2011 WA Schoolboys

Name: Brad Lacey
Born: 11/04/1994, Durban (South Africa)
Position: Wing
Club: Wests Scarborough
Height: 186cm
Weight: 92kg
Representative Rugby: 2015 Western Force; 2014-2015 Perth Spirit; 2013-2014 Australian Under 20; 2013-2014 WA Under 20; 2014 Force ‘A’; 2011 WA Schoolboys

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