Force sign fourth Super playmaker


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    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.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • January 9th 2013 @ 4:01am
      Johnno said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:01am | ! Report

      This guy is part of the expanded squad, and actually qualifies as an aussy. As his dad was born in Adelaide. So like Mike Harris, with a relative born in OZ , same deal.
      These expanded squads are good. The warpaths are developing one read a really good article on it. And Jake white i read a really good article. Guys like this are a perfect example, and these extended squads, why i’d like either another super rugby team in OZ, or a 3rd tier. A guy like this now has an opportunity , and may take it with both hands and shine. He sounds a good fly half who is just waiting for his break. And super rugby sides squads will grow if it last beyond 2015 as a comp which i think it will, when the tv deal ends and needs to be re-negotatied. The games getting harder and more spots are needed and that word rotation will have to be done more in super rugby, especially in lions and world cup years.

      Build the base , good these teams are applying that. Going to be interesting to see what happens, now Nucifora is gone, what the ARU’s next strategic plan will be, in regards to an under-20 comp, a 3rd tier, or super rugby expansion, coz a guy like this is a perfect exemple of why more oppurutnites are needed, and also getting some of the guys who go to league with rugby backgrounds in OZ and NZ, and league players that want to test themselves in rugby, and now the increasing junior pathways , of talented players coming out of Victoria and western Australia.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 7:01am
        Darwin stubby said | January 9th 2013 @ 7:01am | ! Report

        Huh ? …. He’s a kiwi who has been playing in the NPC – who has now got a gig in a Aust SR side … All this again displays is the lack of depth of Aust rugby – yet that’s spun into Aust needs more SR teams – crazy

        • January 9th 2013 @ 8:38am
          richard said | January 9th 2013 @ 8:38am | ! Report

          Would be interesting to know how many kiwis that oz super rugby sides have signed up in the off seaon.And of course they will have to be eligible for the wb’s.O’Neill did a real number on that muppet Steve Tew.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 9:59am
            allblackfan said | January 9th 2013 @ 9:59am | ! Report

            richard, do youthink so? I can’t tell.
            Tew just secured a big sponsorship deal with AIG and has been negotiating with other big-name companies in Europe ie Range Rover, that watch maker Sauer (??). He oversaw a successful RWC hosting campaign and saw his team win it, crowds are flocking back to Super rugby, he’s proven to be accommodative in his dealings with domestic unions regarding the ITM Cup, he’s overseen the professionalism of the Sevens game as they gear up for the Olympics, he’s taking on the IRB in regards to advertising restrictions, he’s helping Aust players by allowing NZ players to join Super rugby (I can explain further on this), he’s allowing NZ domestic unions (as small as they are) to reach out to help developing rugby nations like Brazil, Georgia, Portugal while not forgetting his Island neighbours and he does a monthly video blog on the NZRU website.
            Just saying is all

            • January 9th 2013 @ 2:12pm
              richard said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

              I’m with you ABF, I just don’t like the rather fluid eligibility rules,is all.You only have to look at the example of Ben Botica,who arrived in the UK a little over a year ago, plying his trade there, and now being talked up as a possible England international.I have absolutely no problem with players plying their trade in other countries, if they can’t secure contracts in their own.It is a professional sport,and they have to make a living.But I draw the line at then being able to play for another country.

              I’m with you on some of Tew’s achievments, but have felt that he was too easily manipulated by O’Neill ( who was only doing what was best for Aus. rugby).To me, Tew’s greatest achiement to date was overseeing the reappointment of G.Henry after the 2007 WC debacle.While there seemed to be a gnashing of teeth with Deans going to coach the wb’s,I was definitely in the Henry camp.Tew showed great leadership when taking all factors into account,along with the players endorsement of Henry when making the AB appointment at the end of ’07.

              Having said all that,I don’t envy him his job.Trying to keep nz rugby at the top, with all the commercial pressures i.e player retention,sponsorship deals etc shows he’s making a reasonable fist of it, but there’s always room for improvement.

            • January 13th 2013 @ 5:28pm
              zhenry said | January 13th 2013 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

              Tew must be your grandfather.

              Tew has allowed O’Neill to extend the clause that was to allow only Argentinean players into Super, to include NZ and SA. That’s alright for SA they have over 300,000 players and expanding all the time. NZ have only slightly more players than AU, albeit better catered for with competition. A disastrous move for NZ they need those players to keep the depth that the overseas drain provides. That movement of personnel includes coaches: which Tew attacked O’Neil for; trying to obtain Hammet, just after he had allowed Tew the extended clause! Mindless.
              Before that he allowed O’Neill to extend Super in AU; the player deal fits with it and to provide O’Neill with TV wallpaper coverage for our disadvantaged neighbour!
              Not disadvantaged at all, Tew is giving AU the advantage. AU coaches at the time were saying they don’t have a problem with player shortage they can take NZ players. No problem mate!

              Tew has organised this private operation of NZ Super franchises at 50/50 with NZRU. At the very least it should be 60/40: the problems of accessibility to players for the ABs is utterly compromised. Tew should be concentrating on the NZ Provincial Comp not aggrandising NZ Super sides with gratuitous private financial deals that will set up our NZ franchise to be taken over by overseas consortiums; AU mostly.

              Private equity for the provincial comp, but with the NZRU firmly in control.
              Super suites NZ at the Super12 level only, after that it gobbles up our Provincial Comp; both crowds and the playing time span: The present time span is suicidal for players, cramped in for O’Neill’s Super hit. Sure JON let us lie down for ya to walk all over us. Tew is not accommodating the NZ Provincial Unions at all.
              NZ needs a Heineken Cup type arrangement that suites NZ not AU. NZ needs to combine its Super and Provincial comps; that will certainly match with SA and when AU gets its local act together, it will match AU. But Tew is stripping NZ naked for AU, and he gets the full support of the mostly AU owned NZ media. Not only is Tew mindless but politically on a national scale.

              Snedden supervised the RWC it was business as usual for Tew.
              Crowds flocking to Super? It picked up from the year before, but that’s all. Super has always made a considerable loss and that continues. Super15 is such a crowd, money and time hog; Murdoch is the only winner. But NZ has the Provincial setup to prosper from both, the grassroots support for NZ Provincial teams is special and it is being ignored and murdered. When has AU helped NZ Rugby Union? Never! At every opportunity AU take NZ down: Look at the RECORD. Is Tew going to change that? No way, and he has this special relationship with the AU owned NZ media.

              How long has Tew been in charge for these sponsorship deals; it just might have something to so with the ABs winning the RWC. The international gate deal he did with England (outside the IRB) was a disgrace; England gets about 17 million and NZ 4 million. Tew should have a special advocate for negotiating with the IRB re increasing NZs share of the international gate, there is huge money to be had down this avenue. The ABs crowd pulling power play to 100,000 odd (can’t remember exactly) packed stadium in Italy and they don’t get a penny of it. Tew is a disaster.

              • January 14th 2013 @ 9:03am
                richard said | January 14th 2013 @ 9:03am | ! Report

                ZHenry,I was mainly referring to his re-appointment of Henry after the 2007 debacle.In fact,on most of your points,I couldn’t agree more.I too, see nz rugby being compromised for the benefit of oz, that’s why I said O’Neill manipulated Tew.

                I have voiced many of your views on other posts.

              • January 14th 2013 @ 10:39am
                zhenry said | January 14th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                Richard my reply was for abfan, who I think is being remarkably gratuitous towards Tew. I have seen a lot of your comments and agree with much of it. With Tew in charge I can see NZ Rugby Union being utterly compromised for AU interests, I could go further and say that NZ could become a feeder for the Wallabies: Tews present actions are in that direction however there is much we can do before that to keep the ABs strong. The ABs tap into my childhood and my relationship with my father and they are especially important to me.

              • January 14th 2013 @ 10:59am
                richard said | January 14th 2013 @ 10:59am | ! Report

                Re zhenry, my mistake.And yes,you are quite correct,although I don’t agree with your assertion that “NZ could become a feeder” – we already are.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 4:24am
      kingplaymaker said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:24am | ! Report

      Hi Johnno, sorry I had to go away from the computer the other day and so only saw your post far too late for you to read a reply. However I agreed fully with its contents. A sad state of affairs.

      ‘It’s difficult (to assess their potential) at club level’. The link you provided indicates the extent of the problem. Not only are there too few places in the Super squads but with no third tier it is very hard to ascertain who is talented, nor are they prepared anyway.

      The dominance of Sydney and Brisbane simply leads to a wasted overflow of players instead of a continuous and inevitable building of the game and players base.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 5:05am
      kingplaymaker said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:05am | ! Report

      By the way Johnno regarding your remark that the departure of JON and Nucifora has already changed things, I think the ARU top-up of Israel Folau shows this is the case.

      JON had gone from buying the likes of Sailor etc… for large sums to refusing to pay a penny towards an ARU top-up for any league player.

      The current regime with Folau have plotted something of a middle course. They have given him a top-up but not a huge one, though not an insignificantly small one either, and for one year instead of several.

      They calculate that 1) The return on their investment in terms of publicity for the code in NSW and for the generally struggling Waratahs will be worth the money easily and probably has been already. 2) His signing makes rugby look desirable, as the code stars want to move to. 3) He fills a gap in the kind of player produced in rugby, the massive strike running back. 4) At 23 he is young enough to make a success of the transition to rugby, as most of the less successful converts had problems because they were over 25.

      These reasons all make sense and show a change of direction as JON would not pay a penny for league converts, thereby missing out on signing the 21 year old Inglis which he could have done with a similar top-up to the one given to Folau. What a difference Inglis might have made to the Wallabies’ centres.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 5:42am
      Billy Bob said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:42am | ! Report

      Oh Inglis……lost to Wallabies, lost to rugby, lost to his state of ‘origin.’
      Yes, JON was very conservative it seems.
      This whole branding of athletes as ‘league’ or ‘union’ is delusionary anyway. Lote and Rogers had played rugby, Rogers was an Aussie schoolboy!
      Israel has played before.
      It is not a tattoo that can’t be removed. This code allegiance thing. Michael OConnor, Wally Lewis, Ricky Stuart, mike cleary, Ray Price, Rex Mossop, Russel Faifax were hardly ever described as ‘code- hoppers’ or ‘rugby players’ certainly not by the NRL sycophants in the media.
      It suits the NRL publicity machine to call players like Israel ‘league converts’. Every player is a ‘convert’
      My conversion occurred at the age of seven when I fell over a white line with a ball in my hands and discovered what all the fuss was about..
      Personal career paths don’t matter. They could be converted from tiddlywinks for all I care. If they can play footy, pay them and play them.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 6:30am
        kingplaymaker said | January 9th 2013 @ 6:30am | ! Report

        Billy Bob I agree: a teenager who dabbles in both codes is not anyone’s exactly although of course there are those who have gone through traditional paths and so my be more or less lost i.e. Australian schoolboys.

        However in the case of a young player such as Inglis was, 21 and obviously phenomenal, a mid-sized top-up for a short period i.e. 1-2 years would have returned much more than the expenditure in terms of publicity and promotion of the code, and boosting of its desirability. So it would have made sense, as it would with future youthful stars produced by the NRl such as Will Hopoate.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 5:44am
      Billy Bob said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:44am | ! Report

      Oh and it’s good that the Force have depth at 10.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 7:12am
      Darwin stubby said | January 9th 2013 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Can SNK really be considered as depth ? … The bloke was average at the tahs and by all accounts poor up north – I’d say more a gamble along with MMM

      • January 9th 2013 @ 10:15am
        rl said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

        agree – if SNK is anywhere near this starting side then its a sad indictment on Foley’s ability to work with some very promising young talent. And as much as I’d like to see MMM go well, I’m worried.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 10:45am
          kingplaymaker said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          rl Foley is the biggest wrecker of young Australian talent Super rugby has ever seen!

          • January 9th 2013 @ 3:19pm
            Markus said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            Not Foley, the Waratahs in general. Especially when it comes to flyhalves.

            The Waratahs – proudly destroying talented young flyhalves since 1984.

            • Roar Guru

              January 13th 2013 @ 6:16pm
              jeznez said | January 13th 2013 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

              was Scott Bowen the last quality flyhalf they had? I’d say Rogers’s stint at 10 was the best they have had since. Always thought the Tahs missed a trick by not giving Malone a go.

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