Western Force coach Tim Sampson is adamant his team will be competitive in Australia’s new rugby competition, and he’ll be helped by two former Wallabies.
One-Test centre Kyle Godwin and veteran prop Greg Holmes have joined the Force for 2020.
Fly-half Jono Lance will also return to the club following his recent stint with Worcester Warriors in the English Premiership.
Godwin was touted as a future star when he burst through the ranks at the Force as a teenager.
A bright Wallabies career looked on the cards at that point, but a series of injuries meant Godwin’s sole Test for Australia came in 2016.
The 27-year-old was on the lookout for a new club after recently completing his two-year contract with Irish side Connacht, and his addition to the Force will add some flair to the back line.
Holmes notched 27 Tests for the Wallabies between 2005-2016, and more recently the 37-year-old spent three seasons with Exeter Chiefs in the English Premiership.
The arrival of Godwin, Holmes and Lance adds vital experience to a youth-laden squad.
Sampson said the Force’s title-winning National Rugby Championship campaign last year proved that the team’s younger players could stand up against opponents who have Super Rugby experience.
He is confident the Force can again punch above their weight when they take on the Reds, Waratahs, Brumbies, and Rebels.
“What we can gauge ourselves on is how we performed in the National Rugby Championship the last couple of years, where we did play against squads that had a lot of Super Rugby players,” Sampson said.
“We did perform well.
“They (opponent teams) had their Wallaby players unavailable, but we also had a lot of players out last year and we won the Championship.”