Josh Valentine signs with Western Force - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Josh Valentine signs with Western Force

By Justin Chadwick 12/08/2008 07:24:01 PM Comments (0)

NSW scrumhalf Josh Valentine has set his sights on a return to the Wallaby fold after signing with Super 14 outfit Western Force for 2009.

Valentine, who played four Tests for Australia in 2006, struggled for game time at the Waratahs last season, making just two appearances off the bench as back-up to current Wallaby Luke Burgess.

The acquisition of Valentine, capped 51 times at Super level in four seasons with the Reds and two with the Waratahs, is a major boost for the Force, whose scrumhalf stocks suffered a major blow at the start of last season when Matt Henjak was sacked by the club in February for his fiery punch-up with teammate Haig Sare.

The Force have retained Chris O'Young on their list but 25-year-old James Stannard has been cut loose.

Valentine, 25, will compete with O'Young for the No.9 jersey while the Force develop Australian Schoolboys scrumhalf Justin Turner.

"I'd love to play more Tests for Australia and that remains a big goal, but there's a lot of work to do before I think about that," Valentine said.

"My immediate goal is to win the starting job for the Western Force and hopefully play some really good consistent rugby next year.

"There is plenty of competition in the halfback position at the Force with Chris O'Young and Justin Turner but I'll do my best to put my name up there during the pre-season and take it from there."

Valentine said he was looking forward to re-uniting with former housemate Drew Mitchell.

"Drew and I were roomies when we were in Queensland so I'm looking forward to playing with him again, as well as Sharpie (Nathan Sharpe) and Gits (Matt Giteau) and the other boys," he said.

"It's a talented squad and a great coaching staff and I'm very much looking forward to getting over to Perth and making the most of my opportunities."

Valentine will join the squad in Perth before the team starts pre-season training on October 6.

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