Force working on Ripia (Planet Rugby)

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Following the announcement that Assistant Coach Richard Graham will take over the top job in Perth from 2011, the Force are now after a new pivot in the shape of Willie Ripia.

The Perth franchise have struggled to find a number ten replacement since star Wallaby Matt Giteau opted to move back to the Brumbies, with Andre Pretorius suffering a long-term injury before their second signing, David Hill, performed well only but in patches during the recent Super 14.

A move for ‘Canes playmaker Ripia, who has fallen behind Aaron Cruden at the Westpac Stadium, could be the answer for the Force as the 24-year-old showed strong game-management skills for the Maori along with a great deal of hunger to step up to the plate in Australia.

“The ARU needs to make an assessment that his ability is such that he could represent Australia if he stays the three years and qualifies via residency,” said Force Chief Executive Vern Reid, speaking to AAP.

“We’ve spent the last two days talking to Willie and showing him around. He seemed to enjoy being here.

“He played very well the last three weeks for New Zealand Maori against England and Ireland.

“So he’s very keen to be part of this and clearly he would be a good solution for our number ten spot.”

Many thanks to PLANET RUGBY for this panui. Chur Chur>>>

http://www.planet-rugby.co.za/story/0,25883,3824_6243707,00.html

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