The Western Force’s signing spree has continued as they attempt to become a powerhouse of Super Rugby AU.
Andrew Forrest’s Global Rapid Rugby was called off after just one round this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and chief executive of the Hong Kong Rugby Union Robbie McRobbie has already been told the 2021 edition will be scrapped as well.
It means the Force can put their full attention into next year’s Super Rugby AU competition, and they added some Argentinian flair to their squad on Thursday with the signings of Tomás Cubelli and Julián Montoya.
Scrumhalf Cubelli has notched 75 caps for Argentina, including appearances at the World Cup in 2015 and 2019.
The versatile playmaker is well-acquainted with Australia, having spent two seasons with the ACT Brumbies.
Montoya made his international debut against South American rivals Uruguay as a 19-year-old and went on to be part of the 2015 and 2019 World Cup squads.
The hooker has played 59 times for Argentina, including a stellar hat-trick performance against Tonga at the 2019 World Cup.
He also scored a Super Rugby hat-trick against the Queensland Reds earlier this year.
“Every region plays rugby in different ways and has a different style. I think these players will suit the Force style of play but will also be able to add something special to help us stand out from the competition,” Force’s head of rugby Matt Hodgson said.
The Force lost all eight games this season to finish last in the inaugural Super Rugby AU campaign.
But they have since embarked on a massive signing spree, which has netted the likes of Irish legend Rob Kearney and Wallabies duo Tevita Kuridrani and Tom Robertson.
The Force have also re-signed key players such as Kieran Longbottom, Ian Prior, Brynard Stander, Greg Holmes, Kyle Godwin and Marcel Brache on new deals.
Rumours are rife the Force could leave the Australian set-up in 2022 to join the New Zealand competition.
The Perth-based franchise says reports the Force have agreed in-principle to join the NZ competition are mere speculation.
Billionaire mining magnate Forrest had huge hopes for GRR, but the shutdown of most international borders means the competition simply can’t go ahead for the foreseeable future.