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Wessels appointed Force Super Rugby coach

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South African Dave Wessels has been appointed as head coach of the Western Force for the 2017 and 2018 Super Rugby seasons.

The Western Force have confirmed  that Wessels was appointed Head Coach on the recommendation of the Western Force’s Coach Selection Panel, which included senior management from both the Western Force and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).

“This opportunity is an amazing privilege,” said Wessels. “Not only because I love the game of rugby but also because I am so passionate about the Western Force and the people of Perth.

“Our two kids were born here in WA, and we feel very much a part of this community, so to be able to play a significant role in the sporting landscape here is a real honour.

“What we want to do going forward is develop a fantastic learning environment that people want to be a part of and that embraces the unique pioneering spirit that Western Australians will be proud of.”

Thirty-three-year-old Wessels replaces former head coach Michael Foley was was released from his position in June despite having a year remaining on his contract.

Wessels is the first South African coach to coach a Super Rugby team outside of South Africa and started his career at this level by working as a defence coach for the Stormers in 2008 and 2009.

Wessels who hails from Cape Town was Foley’s assistant for three years and took charge of the Force for their final three matches this season after Foley’s departure.

Wessels also worked under Jake White with the Brumbies in 2012 before Foley took him on as an assistant in 2013.

Australian and Queensland assistant coach Matt O’Connor, former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, former England head coach Stuart Lancaster and former Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder were all linked to the job.

Wessels speaking after his appointment as interim head coach following Foley’s in June.

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