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Kiwi flyer Chase Tiatia latest pick-up in Western Force's off-season raid

By Alex McLeod
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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The Western Force have continued their off-season raid, signing former Chiefs and Hurricanes flyer Chase Tiatia on a two-year deal.

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Tiatia joins the Perth-based Super Rugby Pacific franchise after having flitted between the Chiefs and Hurricanes since 2017, having played a collective total of 38 matches for the two Kiwi sides.

By landing Tiatia’s signature, the Force have confirmed their fourth signing this week, with three-test Wallabies hooker Feleti Kaitu’u joined by fellow rake Jack Winchester in inking two-year deals with the Western Australian outfit.

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That was followed by news on Tuesday that the Force had landed experienced Wallabies hooker Folau Fainga’a, snaring the 25-test international away from the Brumbies, where he had spent the previous five seasons.

Those acquisitions came after the Force had already announced the arrivals of loose forward Michael Wells from the Melbourne Rebels and lock Jeremy Williams from the Waratahs.

After making a solitary appearance for the Chiefs against the British & Irish Lions in 2017, Tiatia relocated to his hometown Wellington, played for the Hurricanes between 2019 and 2020.

The 26-year-old outside back then moved back to the Chiefs last year, making 21 more appearances for the Hamilton-based side.

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A former Samoa U20 representative, Tiatia is also a Bay of Plenty stalwart, having played 60 times for the Steamers after initially making his provincial debut for Wellington as a teenager in 2014.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Tiatia expressed his excitement about making the move across the Tasman to open a new chapter in his Super Rugby career.

“I’m really looking forward to moving to Perth. It will be a new challenge and a new experience for me,” Tiatia said.

“I’ve been to Perth a couple times with Super Rugby, so it’ll be nice to spend some more time there and get to know everyone.

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“I’ve been coached by [Force assistant coach] Mark Ozich before, and I really liked working with him. We caught up over the phone about the move, and he spoke very highly of the program at the Force.

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“It’s going to be really great to develop my game in Perth and get some consistent game time. I’m really excited about the whole experience and getting started.”

Ozich added that he is eager to work alongside Tiatia again in Perth and is excited about what the fleet-footed star can offer the Force.

“Chase brings excitement and x factor to the Force. He’s a player with strong versatility and a rugby brain that can play effectively across the backline,” Ozich said.

“His ability to see and create opportunities, as well as beat defenders with the ball in hand are all major strengths he will add to the squad.

“He’s a high energy and team first character, which aligns perfectly with the Force and how we go about our work. This is a great environment for him to grow as a player and showcase what he can do on the Super Rugby stage.”

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