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'Ready to go': Force sign ex-Wallabies lock in Super Rugby mid-year boost

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24th March, 2024
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In a mid-season boost for the Western Force, Simon Cron has strengthened his second-row stocks by signing former Wallabies lock Sam Carter.

With Izack Rodda and Felix Kalapu still sidelined, Cron has desperately short of experience up front and relied heavily on New Zealand recruit Tom Franklin and young skipper Jeremy Williams.

But the addition of Carter, who had been contemplating a return home for more than 12 months, will stiffen up their second-row and provide the young Force side with one of Australia’s most experienced lineout callers.

“Sam’s quality is known as an ex-Wallabies lock and he’s ready to go, having been playing over at Leicester in England,” Cron said.

“One of the areas we’ve been thin during the pre-season and into this season is the availability of tight-five forwards and Sam helps allay that. He gives us a genuine lock option, with Izack Rodda and Felix Kalapu still not available for training or games.

“Sam also brings with him a wealth of experience, big-game mentality and genuine height. Plus he has been playing already in-season with Leicester, so he’s fit and available. He’ll be great around the team with his experience.”

Sam Carter of Australia wins the line out under pressure from Courtney Lawes of England during the QBE international match between England and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on November 29, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The 34-year-old comes fresh from turning out with Dan McKellar’s Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership.

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McKellar signed Carter from Ulster, with the 16-Test Wallaby spending four seasons with the Irish side.

Carter was at the Force’s 40-31 upset win over the Reds in Perth on Saturday.

He would have been impressed watching on, as the Force’s forward pack rolled up their sleeves and smashed the Reds at the breakdown.

Sam Carter has returned to Australian rugby by signing with the Force from Dan McKellar’s Leicester. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

The 34-year-old said he was looking forward to helping nurture the young squad coming through at the Force.

“I’m excited to be joining the force for the rest of the season,” Carter said. “My family and I are looking forward to the opportunity to come home to Australia.

“I think I bring a lot of experience and rugby knowledge and I’m keen to add to what the Force are building.

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“It’s an exciting young squad with a lot of potential and it’s great to be back in the Australian rugby environment.”

Whether the former Brumbies lock plays this weekend remains to be seen, with the Force on a two-week tour where they will take on the Drua at Churchill Park in Lautoka before travelling to Auckland to play the fourth-placed Blues.  

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