Pretorius keen to link with Force talent - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pretorius keen to link with Force talent

By Justin Chadwick 26/06/2009 06:14:55 PM Comments (0)

While new Western Force recruit Andre Pretorius isn't daunted about stepping into the shoes of Matt Giteau, the former Springbok has high hopes of emulating the star flyhalf's relationship with teen sensation James O'Connor.

O'Connor is yet to commit to the Force for the 2010 Super 14 season but with the offer of a lucrative third-party sponsorship and now Pretorius' signing, the WA franchise is confident the 18-year-old will stay instead of going to the Brumbies or Reds.

Pretorius said he was excited at the prospect of linking up with O'Connor and believed they could form a formidable midfield partnership for the Force.

"That's definitely one of the key elements of good back half play is the fact that 10 and 12 think a lot alike," Pretorius said from South Africa on Friday.

"I think himself (O'Connor) and Matt got that right and that's why they were so successful in the midfield.

"So yes, having a good relationship with your 12, which is James O'Connor, is definitely going to be a key.

"He's a good player and a player for the future.

"He's already made his mark at international level."

Pretorius, who notched 31 Test caps for South Africa and was part of their 2007 World Cup winning squad, was lured to the Force on a one-year deal as the franchise's international marquee player.

But the 31-year-old indicated he was eager to play out the 2011 season for the Force as well.

"I think in the first year of any contract you kind of get settled, get to know the environment, the players," he said.

"The second year is where you can actually go and perform."

Pretorius, who played eight seasons for the Lions, said he was confident the Force, bolstered by the signings of scrumhalf Brett Sheehan and props Matt Dunning and Tim Fairbrother, would make the finals next season.

"Without a doubt, I don't even have to think about it," he said.

"The Force have gone through their teething problems.

"They were very competitive this year, if a couple of results went their way they could have made the semis.

"I need a team where the infrastructure is set already and that is what the Force can give you."

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