The Western Force have ensured they won’t run short of playmakers again this Super Rugby season by signing New Zealander Sam Christie as a fourth option at five-eighth.
The 26-year-old Christie is a former New Zealand schoolboys representative who has had seven years with the Waikato provincial team and he was added to the Force’s extended squad after training in Perth for over a month.
He joins a list of five-eighths at the Force which also includes former Cheetahs and Junior Springboks star Sias Ebersohn, former Wallaby Sam Norton-Knight and Australian Under 20 representative Kyle Godwin.
Injuries and the pre-season axing of Kiwi Willie Ripia left the Perth-based team struggling for playmakers last season but new coach Michael Foley is happy that won’t happen again.
“Being such a pivotal position, we wanted to ensure we had depth at fly-half this season,” Foley said.
“We’ve now got four quality options at ’10’ – as well as the ability to cover a number of other positions – through the retention of Kyle Godwin and the recruitment of Sias Ebersohn, Sam Norton-Knight and now Sam Christie.
“Sam’s form with Waikato was impressive during the ITM Cup, including a strong showing in their Ranfurly Shield win over Taranaki.
“He’s a confident, attacking player. He’s strong under pressure, he’s got an accurate passing game and he’ll be pushing hard for game time this season.”
Christie jumped at the opportunity.
“I’ve been working hard for a number of years to make it into Super Rugby and to have this opportunity is a really exciting step,” he said.
“I like the running style of rugby and the Force is going to bring a great style of rugby this year.
“We’ve got some very sharp backs and a versatile forward pack and we’ve got a chance to play some good attacking rugby which I’m really excited about.”