Force lure former All Black as playmaker - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Force lure former All Black as playmaker

By Justin Chadwick 22/02/2010 05:53:29 PM Comments (0)

Western Force have replaced a former Springbok with a former All Black in a bid to solve their Super 14 woes in the key five-eighth position.

And former Force favourite Scott Staniforth will re-sign with the Perth-based franchise on a short-term deal after his Japanese club Yokogawa folded.

Former Chiefs playmaker David Hill, who came off the bench for the All Blacks against Ireland in 2006 for his only Test cap, has been lured to Perth to replace South African Andre Pretorius, whose season ended before it even began when he tore his hamstring off the bone.

Hill, 31, is a handy acquisition for the Force after Sam Harris endured two miserable outings in the No.10 jersey when moved there following injuries to Pretorius and Mark Bartholomeusz (neck).

Staniforth and Hill have verbally committed to the Force and were expected to put pen to paper later on Monday.

Hill played last season for Japanese club Toshiba and will return there after the Super 14 campaign.

Staniforth's return is also a massive boost to the Force, who have lost Pretorius, Richard Brown, David Pocock and Cameron Shepherd to lengthy injuries this season.

The former Wallaby's bid to rejoin the Force was initially denied by the ARU due to his contract with Yokogawa but the collapse of that club freed the way for Staniforth to rejoin his former team-mates under coach John Mitchell.

While Hill is expected to arrive in Perth later this week, he is unlikely to be ready to tackle his former team, the Chiefs, at ME Bank Stadium on Saturday.

Utility back Bartholomeusz is likely to fill the flyhalf role for that game if he recovers in time from his neck injury.

The Force sit last on the table after losing their opening two games of the season to the Brumbies and Hurricanes.

And the task won't get any easier against the unbeaten Chiefs, who ran in nine tries in their record-breaking 72-65 triumph over the Lions.

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