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 @ 7:37am
      Tommygun said | January 9th 2013 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      Sam norton knight. Fit to carry the drinks and thats about it…

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

    • January 9th 2013 @ 4:57pm
      sittingbison said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

      Sam Christie is the fifth and last spot on the EPS. Its a matter of depth. He will only be activated if the two other fly halves in the actual squad go down injured, and elevated if both out for more than a month. Given Godwin is 20yo and its his first season, its not a bad idea having a more mature person waiting in the wings as an emergency rather than a teenager. The Force has suffered from a dearth of playmakers since inception so having this cover is great. In the meantime Perth gets another quality player in the local club competition, which is generally considered A Good Thing.

      Sam Norton Knight is as far as I can tell a utility cover player. It looks like there are starters at 10 (Ebersohn and Godwin), 12 (Hayward and Teutara-Morrison) and 15 (Mafi and Dellit) in front of him, but he covers all three positions. He is mature and experienced. I have no problems with that at all.

      3M could be a great acquisition, maybe even the best in our history. However we are not dependent on him, we are covered in all his roles 4 6 8. If he comes good and stays fit its a luxury the Force have not had previously, and could make the already excellent loose backs fearsome.

      KPM time to get off your anti Foley high horse, its becoming tiresome. What you have to understand is the Force is not and never will be the Warratahs with all their inbuilt schisms and powerplays. Foley has been recruited for a specific task and given full board backing and every resource to accomplish that task – rebuilding the program. He is NOT talking or acting in any way similar to last year at the Tahs. Perhaps you should look into the environment under which he operated with HQ hooray harrys, nepotism and entitled player egos.

      Every and I mean EVERY indication coming from pre-season is Foley is building a thoroughly professional rugby playing program designed for sustainalbe success rather than instant gratification, his assistants Meehan Chook and Stiles are drilling the troops, and captain Hodgo has gathered all the elements and the players together into a harmonious whole. Hodgo is developing into a club legend.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 7:58pm
      chuck said | January 9th 2013 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

      Its great Sam has a contract its his living and we should not condem C.E.O. Tew for not doing enough to keep these players just for the sake of proping up New Zealand rugby 5 seasons with waikato not a bad record too have on your C.V. wish the bloke well maybe
      a selection for the national side is on the cards.

    • January 10th 2013 @ 2:46pm
      Colvin said | January 10th 2013 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

      I see Sam Christie was a former New Zealand Schools representative. That’s a good pedigree.

      I read just the other day that Dan Carter couldn’t get in the South Island Schools team at flyhalf in his year. He was kept out of the team by Brendon McCallum, current New Zealand cricket captain. Maybe Brendon should have stuck with rugby.

      • January 10th 2013 @ 8:30pm
        pogo said | January 10th 2013 @ 8:30pm | ! Report

        From a financial perspecitve McCullum is probably better off, even though the black caps have struggled he rakes it in from the IPL, big bash and any other T20 contract he can land.

    • January 12th 2013 @ 6:16am
      richard said | January 12th 2013 @ 6:16am | ! Report

      The problem with nz cricket is the players don’t have any history of performing.Other than a brief period with Richard Hadlee, I don’t recall nz cricket doing anything.And it’s even worse in this era, with the IPL, as players aren’t overly fussed how they perform for the national team as they have IPL contracts to fall back on.

      The absence of nz’s only real world class players in Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder shows just how big a joke nz cricket is.

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