Perth based Super Rugby franchise the Western Force have signed two players for next season even though their position in Super Rugby is under question.
The Force have signed prop Shambeckler Vui signing on for a further two seasons as well as hooker Anaru Rangi for next season.
Rangi was brought into the side last year, after the Force were struck down with injury, and proved himself ready for Super Rugby. Rangi has then worked tirelessly to improve his set piece skills and prepared himself for a professional rugby career.
The Nedlands representative has played three matches this season in what has been a competitive position to lock down with club stalwart Heath Tessmann and Wallaby Tatafu Polota-Nau commanding the position, but Rangi says the competitiveness for the jersey is important to his development.
“This year has been a big learning curve, just figuring out what it means to be a professional rugby player, the discipline and the dedication mainly. Now that I have that under my belt it’s prepared me well for the next two seasons.
“There is a lot of competition with guys that have played a lot of Super Rugby but I like to think that it drives me to be better and I have learnt a lot off those guys.”
Rangi couldn’t speak highly enough about his time with the Force so far in his career and says that he’s grateful to sign for two more seasons.
“I’m stoked to sign with the Force for another two years, I’ve really enjoyed my first year and I’m happy to be staying on.
“I definitely see my future in Western Australia after getting to this point after playing for ‘Neddies’ and the [Perth] Spirit. Now the Force is my home and I can’t wait to represent the blue jersey in the coming years.”
Western Force Forwards Coach Joe Barakat says that there is plenty to like about Anaru Rangi and is excited about the prospect of just how good this man could be.
“Anaru is tough as nails and uncompromising in everything that he does,” he said. “He lifts the intensity when he’s on the pitch, there are no prisoners in the game that he plays.”
“He brings a fantastic mentality to his game, and he just doesn’t like finishing second and having that in your team is crucial.”
Rangi will be pushing his case for the final two games of the season, including the Round 15 clash against ‘Aussie’ rivals the Melbourne Rebels on Friday, 7 July at the Force Field.
Prop Shambeckler Vui is an Australian U20s representative and has had a remarkable year, making his Super Rugby debut in Round Six against the Blues, added a further four caps to his name and recently returned from the World Under 20 Championships where he played every match and was eventually named as the starting tighthead prop in the Team of the Tournament.
The Future Force Foundation graduate has gone from strength to strength in what has been very much a steep learning curve and gives thanks to the great support from everyone at the club.
“I’m really happy to have re-signed with the Force,” he said. “This is where I got my big opportunity with the Future Force Foundation and then at Super Rugby level this year, so I’m grateful to be playing my rugby in Western Australia.”
Vui wants to build on what has been a good year so far, but says there is still a long way to go if he wants to become a regular starter.
“This season has been a challenge and I’ve learned so much from the coaches and the other props at the club. I’ve been pretty happy with my season so far and I’ll be going really hard in the pre-season because the goal is to be starting next season.”
Western Force Forwards Coach Joe Barakat says the re-signing of Vui is a huge positive for the club and sees Vui as a future cornerstone of the Force pack.
“Sham has had a really good under 20s tournament, the Australian scrum was really good and that was him holding up the hardest part of the scrum.
I’m just so excited about what he’s able to produce in the scrum and where he’s able to progress to from that point.”
“Although Sham is only 20, we have no hesitation to play him in our side. Skill wise he has a little bit of work to do, but his mentality is fantastic and he knows what he wants to get out of the game.”