Waratahs use the Force to sign Wallabies back

Scott Pryde Roar Guru

47 Have your say

    The Waratahs have announced the signing of Wallabies utility back and former Western Force player Curtis Rona.

    Rona has three Test caps for the Wallabies after defecting from the NRL at the end of the 2016 season to link up with the now-defunct Western Force.

    He had an outstanding season in Western Australia before being picked in the Wallabies squad for both the Rugby Championship and Spring Tour.

    His Tests came against New Zealand, South Africa and Japan, with the 25-year-old scoring in his debut against the All Blacks in what was an otherwise forgettable match.

    Rona said he was looking to build on his Super Rugby and Wallabies performances in 2017 with an eye to becoming a regular in the national team.

    “I am still coming to terms with how this year has turned out for me. It’s been an incredible and humbling experience, and exciting at the same time. I know I still have a long way to go if I want to play international rugby regularly and this is only the start of it,” Rona said.

    “I grew up playing rugby union and knew I would always return to the game. And I cannot wait to join the team. This is a group that has won a Super Rugby championship before and I want to be part of a team that is driven to get back to winning ways again.”

    The winger began his professional sporting career in 2014 with the NRL’s North Queensland Cowboys before linking with the Canterbury Bulldogs, with whom he scored 35 tries in two years, becoming one of the game’s premier wingers.

    The Force were booted from the Super Rugby competition after a long-running legal battle with Rugby Australia (then the ARU). With SANZAAR deciding to reduce the number of teams from 18 to 15, it meant Rugby Australia had to cut one and the Force ended up missing out on the 2018 competition.

    All of the Australian Super Rugby teams struggled in 2017, the Brumbies being the only team to make the finals series by virtue of finishing at the top of the Australian conference.

    It’s hoped the cutting of teams will improve the performance of all four remaining teams with the talent pool cut into one less team.

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,800 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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    The Crowd Says (47)

    • December 19th 2017 @ 9:56am
      Tim Rogers said | December 19th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      They weren’t just booted they were brutally and unfairly torn apart.

      • Roar Guru

        December 19th 2017 @ 10:06am
        Train Without A Station said | December 19th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

        Did you just assume all the players were going to wait in suspended animation until WA got another team or something?

        • December 19th 2017 @ 1:24pm
          ajg said | December 19th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

          How is this response anything to do with what he just said?!

          • December 20th 2017 @ 12:20pm
            Train Without A Station said | December 20th 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

            “Torn apart”. Clearly the players are going to go somewhere.

            And hopefully have great success for themselves.

        • Roar Pro

          December 20th 2017 @ 12:44am
          GusTee said | December 20th 2017 @ 12:44am | ! Report

          I always try to read you comments in an objective way – but mate you floor me with this one!

          • December 21st 2017 @ 10:12am
            Realist said | December 21st 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

            Seriously Force Fans, if all you want to do is moan about your team being eliminated – just set up your own forum to cry about it.
            I’m not sure where you all were when your team was embarrassing itself for 10 out of their 12 seasons.
            Get behind the Rebels – they won’t disappoint you

      • December 20th 2017 @ 9:02am
        waxhead said | December 20th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        Stop whining like 10 yr old girls.
        Force are gone – get over it and TWAS was right to ask you guys the obvious.
        Rona is a Queenslander and much better off at the Tahs anyway.

        You ex Force guys are hilarious – almost all your players have no history in WA and you claim them as yours anyway

        • December 20th 2017 @ 9:58am
          AndyS said | December 20th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

          Seeing as it was supposedly your point, that wouldn’t be you claiming Rona as a Q’lder despite him having no history there, being born in NZ and grown up playing all his rugby in Perth…? 😉

        • Roar Rookie

          December 20th 2017 @ 12:11pm
          piru said | December 20th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

          Rona is a Kiwi who grew up in Perth mate, not sure where you get the idea he’s from Qld.

      • Roar Rookie

        December 21st 2017 @ 11:05am
        ChrisG said | December 21st 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

        Time to move on Tim

        • December 21st 2017 @ 1:28pm
          Bakkies said | December 21st 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

          Move on to where Chris? Go on do tell.

          • Roar Rookie

            December 21st 2017 @ 1:56pm
            piru said | December 21st 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

            I think we’re supposed to pick an east coast franchise to support.

    • Roar Guru

      December 19th 2017 @ 10:15am
      PeterK said | December 19th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      Finally tahs actually got a top player from the force.

      They really needed a centre.

      • Roar Rookie

        December 19th 2017 @ 10:20am
        Paul D said | December 19th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

        I think Newsome and Vui were good acquisitions.

        But yes, Rona plugs one of the 2 major holes. I think the other will remain vacant now though, so here’s hoping we can unearth a gem from the younger ranks. Maybe Swinton? 19 years old and already approaching 110kg. He could be a big body when he fills out

        • Roar Guru

          December 19th 2017 @ 10:59am
          PeterK said | December 19th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          Tahs only did better than the reds in acquiring talent from the force.

          Obviously rebels were outstanding in that regard but brumbies also did slightly better in signing Arnold and Naisarani.

          Vui is a good gain for the tahs purely because outside Kepu their props are poor.

          I wonder what McCalman will do, he is the only top player that hasn’t signed anywhere.

          • Roar Rookie

            December 19th 2017 @ 2:32pm
            Don said | December 19th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

            It’ll certainly be interesting to see the starting sides Brad Thorn selects early next season PK given the lack of recruiting and the stated intention of who he won’t be starting.

            I’m thinking he expects CFS to play a significant role along with Duncan Paia’aua and Hunt in the backs.

            Rona is a really handy pick up to replace Rob Horne.

          • Roar Guru

            December 19th 2017 @ 4:45pm
            Cadfael said | December 19th 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

            It would have been interesting to see how the Force would have peformed had both Gits and Pocock stayed there instead of going to the Brumbies.

      • Roar Guru

        December 19th 2017 @ 10:33am
        Train Without A Station said | December 19th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        Yeah he’s a top line player who fills a genuine hole in the Waratahs roster.

        • December 19th 2017 @ 5:41pm
          Fionn said | December 19th 2017 @ 5:41pm | ! Report

          Yeah, fixes a lot of backline problems by slotting in at outside centre.

          Peter, suddenly that backline doesn’t look so poor as you feared it might.

          12. Beale, 13. Rona, 14. Big TN, 15. Folau is really pretty good at SR level.

    • Roar Rookie

      December 19th 2017 @ 10:44am
      JPR said | December 19th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

      Pleased for Rona to stay with Rugby Union. Only Ben McCalman (ex Force captain) to leave the sinking ship.

      • December 19th 2017 @ 10:09pm
        scottd said | December 19th 2017 @ 10:09pm | ! Report

        that would be the torpedoed by “friendly fire” ship

    • December 19th 2017 @ 11:00am
      Harry said | December 19th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

      Good to see Rona stay in Australian rugby, My sympathies to Force supporters and fans, must be very annoying to see your team picked apart like this.

      • December 19th 2017 @ 10:20pm
        IrishForce said | December 19th 2017 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

        Annoying isn’t the right word. Still feel really sick……..

      • Roar Pro

        December 20th 2017 @ 12:45am
        GusTee said | December 20th 2017 @ 12:45am | ! Report

        Harry, its not just annoying – its gut wrenching!

      • Roar Rookie

        December 20th 2017 @ 12:12pm
        piru said | December 20th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

        It’s actually sickening – but glad for Rona as he has just been awarded a Wallaby jersey for as long as he likes

        • December 20th 2017 @ 1:26pm
          Train Without A Station said | December 20th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          Get over it bud.

          Not losing your team. I can understand you may always resent what happened.

          But if you have an issue with seeing the players moving on with their life, I suggest you have some real issues.

          They want to move on to a new team just as much as the new teams want to pick them up.

          Talk about them being picked apart implies they are unwilling parties to this.

          Mass exodus can occur to continuing teams. Go look at my Reds. How many from 2011 have been on the books continually since then? I think less than a handful.

          And if they have signed in Australia, it’s likely they want to pursue their Wallaby dreams, and you should be happy that they can do that.

          • Roar Rookie

            December 20th 2017 @ 2:13pm
            piru said | December 20th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

            Is that not what I just said

            why are you so invested in telling Force fans how they should feel?

          • December 20th 2017 @ 6:26pm
            Rhys Bosley said | December 20th 2017 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

            You really like picking on people, don’t you TWAS. I would suggest that you are the one with the issues.

          • December 21st 2017 @ 1:34pm
            Bakkies said | December 21st 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

            ‘Get over it bud.’

            Oh the Rebels employee of the year has spoken to the masses. Oh by the way he is not your bud.

    • December 19th 2017 @ 1:46pm
      Jock Cornet said | December 19th 2017 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

      Waratahs or brumbies for conference leaders, rebels -& qld 14th & 15 th.

      • December 19th 2017 @ 2:22pm
        Boomeranga said | December 19th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

        I’m a supporter but would predict Waratahs to come in 4th. Rona helps but we lack big bodies in the forwards.

      • December 19th 2017 @ 2:23pm
        JP said | December 19th 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

        Rebels or Brumbies for conference leaders, Waratahs-& Reds 14th & 15th, with the Waratahs having the most Wallaby representitives again.

        • Roar Rookie

          December 19th 2017 @ 2:42pm
          Paul D said | December 19th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          “with the Waratahs having the most Wallaby representitives again”

          Except they don’t.

          • December 19th 2017 @ 6:14pm
            Fionn said | December 19th 2017 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

            Really? Who made up the majority of most of the 23s?

            • December 20th 2017 @ 7:02am
              Rebellion said | December 20th 2017 @ 7:02am | ! Report

              1. Brumbies
              2. Reds
              3. Rebels
              4. Tahs

            • December 20th 2017 @ 4:38pm
              JP said | December 20th 2017 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

              Fionn, Paul D has rode off on his Bull into the sunset as he has no comeback.

      • December 20th 2017 @ 3:26am
        ThugbyFan said | December 20th 2017 @ 3:26am | ! Report

        Jock, I am a Tahs fanatic and I can tell you I doubt if they will do better than last year (came 4th in Aussie teams as only beat the Rebels on SR2017 Table). The Tahs have pretty much the same problems as last year, weak in the locks (no power and bu99er all reserves) and very hit or miss in the halves. The other problem is lack of quality in reserves, one injury and the team is shafted. Hooker and back row are the only positions I can think of where the Tahs have a decent reserve to cover injuries or that last 20 minutes.

        I’m not taking the pi$$ out of bloggers from above, but the only redeeming feature that I can think of in SR2018 is at least the Tahs won’t get flogged by the Force.

        For small mercies, we all Hail the ARU! 🙂

        • December 20th 2017 @ 3:44am
          ThugbyFan said | December 20th 2017 @ 3:44am | ! Report

          After saying all the above, the only times I saw Curtis Rona playing for the Force last year was at outside centre and he looked really good. Different style to SK and TK, but dare I suggest that in last year’s SR he looked more dangerous in the lines he ran, his offloading and defence than any other OC in the Aussie franchises. I think the Tahs have got a real good player here.

          Just his game fell apart when he had to play M.Cheika’s “headless rooster” defence system of coming in from wing to tackle at 5/8 or IC, then having to charge full pelt back to the wing to cover for the missed tackles when the opposition threw the ball wide. I doubt that he had to put up with such cr^p in the NRL, running in from winger to do all the tackles for J.Thurston (NQ cowboys) or J.Reynolds (CB bulldogs).

          I often wonder what the players must think when they are told to play these ridiculous systems. Surely they must have some input to the head coach, the defence bloke (N.Gray) and the lapdog (S.Larkham).

    • December 19th 2017 @ 2:21pm
      Tim Rogers said | December 19th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

      ‘Twas that’s a twat statement and you’ve read more into the comment than what was stated. It is perfectly stating what happened to the Force. It was unjust how they were treated. I’d deny no one to earn an income from their trade.

      Of course the Force is dead in SR and players need to go else where but as Harry says we are now the bones of what is left behind of the carcass which was once the Western Force. I don’t begrudge the teams for feeding off their demise and strengthening themselves. The bones will look like they will be leftmost behind.

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