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'There aren't many 100kg fly-halves going around': Force re-sign three Wallaby hopefuls

By AAP
Reesjan Pasitoa of Western Force looks for a gap during the round 10 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Moana Pasifika and the Western Force at Mt Smart Stadium on May 24, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Halfback Issak Fines-Leleiwasa has set his sights on becoming a World Cup Wallaby in 2027 after re-signing with the Western Force.

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Fines-Leleiwasa, Bayley Kuenzle, and injured playmaker Reesjan Pasitoa all penned new two-year deals with the Force on Wednesday, tying them to the Super Rugby Pacific club until the end of 2025.

The impending arrival of Wallabies halfback Nic White on a two-year deal means Fines-Leleiwasa faces the real prospect of being relegated to the bench for a large chunk of games next season.

But the 27-year-old is embracing White’s arrival, and has the 2027 World Cup in Australia in the back of his mind as well.

“There is a lot of chat around Australian Rugby, and it’s an exciting time to be here playing,” Fines-Leleiwasa said.

“Part of my goal is to stick around and see what happens. I’d love to represent my country one day, and to do it as a Western Force player would be unreal.”

Force coach Simon Cron described Fines-Leleiwasa as a “brilliant team man”, and he wants the speedster to achieve his dreams.

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“We want him to become an international player,” Cron said.

“He is tough, strong and, overall a great human who we know has the talent.”

Pasitoa has been ruled out for the entire Super Rugby season after tearing his ACL a year ago.

But the Force are confident the 21-year-old will form a key part of the side next season.

“He’s a beast for a fly-half; there aren’t many 100kg fly-halves going around,” Cron said of Pasitoa, who also harbours dreams of representing the Wallabies.

“He’s got real talent, so we have to nurture that for him to be successful here at the Force.”

Kuenzle, who is currently sidelined by a hamstring injury, has become a key part of the side this season.

“I want to keep building towards my goal of playing for the Wallabies and winning a Super Rugby title, so being here under Crono is where I need to be,” Kuenzle said.

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The eighth-placed Force will be aiming to make it two wins on the trot when they host the Brumbies at HBF Park on Saturday night.

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