Force get Mathewson boost

    2014-05-23 07:40

    Sydney - Super Rugby surprise package Western Force received a major boost on Friday when they announced a new two-year deal for former All Blacks scrumhalf Alby Mathewson.

    As a foreign "marquee" player, the 28-year-old needed special dispensation from the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) to remain in Perth for a second season this year and will now stay with the Force until the end of 2016.

    Mathewson is currently out of action with an ankle injury but played the first seven matches of the season when the Force rebounded from losing their first two encounters to win five straight for the first time in franchise history.

    Two further victories after Mathewson's injury mean the Force go into this weekend's round 15 action - they play South Africa's Lions on Saturday - in seventh place in the standings, just a point off the playoff positions.

    Mathewson, who won four caps for his native New Zealand in 2010, said that although there had been interest from elsewhere, staying with the Force had always been his preferred option.

    "I was always holding out hope that it would work out this way and I'd stay," Mathewson said.

    "I love being part of what we have at the Force and it's great to be a part of an actual 'team'.

    "I know it gets talked about a bit in the media, but it's great to be a part of the culture of this team, everyone is really tight as a group and there's no egos."

    Five of Mathewson's team-mates were rewarded for the stellar season with places in the 32-man Wallabies squad for June's series against France on Thursday.

    Loose forward Matt Hodgson, who has made a Super Rugby leading 179 tackles this season, and prop Pek Cowan were recalled after three years in the international wilderness.

    Number eight Ben McCalman will be looking for a place on the back of the Wallabies scrum after bulking up for this season, while hooker Nathan Charles, who suffers from Cystic fibrosis, will be out to win his first Test cap in June.

    Rangy winger Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins is the incumbent on the Wallabies left wing after scoring three tries in the November tour of Europe.

    After winning just four of 16 matches and finishing third from bottom of the standings in 2013, this season's form has been quite a turnaround

    Mathewson thinks it will be no flash in the pan.

    "I love where the team's heading. Obviously we had a pretty disappointing season last year but I knew we were better than what we showed," he said.

    "We've had some success this season and while we're only the second year in, we've made some great gains and I believe we're only going to get better."

    Read More On:  force super 15 rugby

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read


    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
    14 February 2015
    • Blues v Chiefs, Albany 08:35
    • Sharks v Cheetahs, Durban 17:05
    • Bulls v Stormers, Pretoria 19:10
    15 February 2015
    • Waratahs v Western Force, Sydney 07:05


    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.