Changes at the Western Force

07 Sep 2016
Changes at the Western Force

The Force have appointed David Wessels as head coach but have lost up-and-coming centre Kyle Godwin to rivals the Brumbies

The Western Force has announced the appointment of David Wessels as the new Head Coach of the Western Force for the next two seasons.

Wessels was appointed Head Coach on the recommendation of the Western Force’s Coach Selection Panel, which included senior management from both the Western Force and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).

At 33 years of age, Wessels has been coaching at the elite level for nine years, including four seasons with the Western Force and one at the helm of the Perth Spirit whom he took all the way to the grand final in the 2014 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship.

“This opportunity is an amazing privilege,” he said. “Not only because I love the game of rugby but also because I am so passionate about the Western Force and the people of Perth.

“Our two kids were born here in WA, and we feel very much a part of this community, so to be able to play a significant role in the sporting landscape here is a real honour.

“What we want to do going forward is develop a fantastic learning environment that people want to be a part of and that embraces the unique pioneering spirit that Western Australians will be proud of.”

David Wessels is the new Western Force Head Coach succeeding Michael Foloey


Kyle Godwin signs for Brumbies

The Aquis Brumbies have snared the signature of one of Australian Rugby’s rising stars, with Kyle Godwin agreeing to link with the club on a two-year deal.

The crafty centre who can play flyhalf, was called into the Wallabies training squad this week ahead of Saturday night’s test against the Springboks at Suncorp Stadium. He also represented the NSW Country Eagles at Viking Park on Sunday afternoon, scoring a try against a number of his future Brumbies teammates.

Born in Zimbabwe, Godwin has been one of the Western Force’s best players since making his Super Rugby debut as a 19-year old in 2012 against the Queensland Reds.

Later that year, the talented playmaker represented the Australian U20s team at the 2012 Junior World Championship in South Africa, starting every match at flyhalf scoring 21 points throughout the tournament.

After scoring his first Super Rugby try against the Crusaders in the final round of the 2012 season, Godwin was named RugbyWA’s U20 Player of the Year and runner-up in the PG Hampshire Award (WA Club Rugby Player of the Year).

Touted as one of the brightest prospects to have come out of the Western Australian Pathways program, Godwin captained WA and represented the Australian Schoolboys side in 2009 (alongside Scott Sio) and was a member of the side which narrowly beat New Zealand Schoolboys 28-24.

The 24-year old had a breakout season in 2013 for the Force and was recognised as the club’s most outstanding player with the inaugural Nathan Sharpe Medal, Members’ Most Valuable Player Award and Rising Star Award.

In 2014, Godwin was called into the Wallabies 30-man squad for The Rugby Championship. A shoulder injury later ruled him out of the Wallabies Spring Tour of Europe and possible national debut.

“The opportunity to grow as a person and as a rugby player at the Brumbies is something I could not ignore,” Godwin said.

“The opportunity to be coached by Stephen Larkham, someone who played in a position similar to me was definitely another reason for the decision.”

“I’ve loved every minute at the Western Force and the club will always be very special to me, but the move to the Brumbies is the best decision for my career.”

Brumbies Head Coach Stephen Larkham, who is in Wallabies camp with Godwin this week, says he is looking forward to having him link with the Brumbies later this year.

“We are very pleased he has agreed to join the Brumbies. He’s risen through the ranks of WA Rugby and we know how hard the decision for him to leave has been,” Larkham said.

“He wants to take his game to a new level and believes the move can help him do that.

“He’s played 52 Super Rugby matches for the Force and has developed into an international-standard player in that time.

“We were looking for someone who has strengths in both attack and defence. Kyle possesses those skills as well as great game vision and a powerful running game. It will be an exciting time for us when he joins our backline next season.”