Mitchell defends player recruitment - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mitchell defends player recruitment

By Glenn Cullen 25/04/2005 07:52:15 PM Comments (0)

Perth Force coach John Mitchell has defended the nascent franchise's recruitment tactics in the midst of criticism from other Australian Super 12 clubs.

The Super 14 rugby side, which enters the competition next year, has come under fire in recent weeks with Reds coach Jeff Miller and Waratahs counterpart Ewen McKenzie questioning Perth's methods.

McKenzie had been angered by Perth's attempt to "discredit" the Waratahs when they signed Waratahs pivot Lachlan MacKay with Force chief executive Peter O'Meara saying NSW assassinated their five eighths and that was part of the reason MacKay was moving on.

But Mitchell said Perth had been well within its rights to seek out players in the manner it has.

"Every state was aware that this recruitment process would take place mid-season and in fact late last year all teams agreed to allowing it to happen," Mitchell said.

"The Western Force cannot afford to sit back until the end of the Super 12 season and watch the three teams sew up each others players.

"We had to enter the recruitment market to ensure we had the strongest possible team for our inaugural season next year.

"That's exactly what we have done.

"We have recruited 11 players and we need another 22 players to complete our squad."

Perth's key recruitments to date have been Reds lock Nathan Sharpe, Waratahs hooker Brendan Cannon and teammate MacKay.

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