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Cross signs with Force until 2011

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Emirates Western Force centre Ryan Cross has provided a welcomed boost for the club by committing to a new three year contract today.


The in-form centre has signed off on a new deal which ties him to the WA side and Australian Rugby until the end of 2011.


Returning to rugby in 2007 after nine seasons of top-flight rugby league, Cross made an immediate impact in his debut season with the Emirates Western Force, scoring three tries and forging his way into the representative arena.


The 28-year-old played five matches for Australia A during the Pacific Nations Cup tournament, narrowly missing out on a place in the 30-man Wallabies World Cup squad.


His 2008 season has continued in similar vain, with the quiet but powerful centre earning man of the match honours against the Lions and Highlanders before scoring the match-winning try against the Bulls at Subiaco Oval earlier this month.


Cross said that he had re-adapted to the fifteen-man game after a 143-match NRL career with the Sydney Roosters.


‘I’m definitely more comfortable in rugby now that I’ve had 12 months in the game and have really enjoyed playing for the Force this season,’ said Cross.


‘Having a full pre-season at the start of the year certainly helped but I’ve tried to increase my involvements and get my hands on the ball more often and it seems to be paying off,’ he said.


Cross, a Waverley College product who twice represented City Origin in rugby league, said his immediate goal was to break into the Wallabies squad.


‘Every Super 14 player in Australia wants to play for the Wallabies and that is definitely a goal of mine.’


‘I watched with plenty of interest during the World Cup in France last year and it’s something that I’d love to be a part of in 2011 in New Zealand. It would be a great way to finish my career,’ he said.


The athletically-gifted outside centre has played in every match for the Emirates Western Force since making his debut against the Highlanders in the opening match of the 2007 season.


The fifth highest try-scorer in Roosters club history, Cross said he and his family were looking forward to extending their stay in WA.


‘My wife (Danielle) and I have really enjoyed our time in Perth and it was a pretty easy decision to continue here,’ he said.


‘I believe that I’ve progressed well in the Western Force program and I’m confident that I’ve got plenty of good years left in me and that I’ll continue to improve and develop as a player over the next three years.’


RugbyWA acting CEO Mitch Hardy said Cross had stamped his mark on the 2008 Super 14 season.


‘Ryan is a tremendous bloke, a popular member of the team and an outstanding footballer,’ said Hardy.


‘His form this season certainly warrants higher honours and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks into the Wallabies 22,’ he said.


‘RugbyWA is absolutely delighted to have secured Ryan’s services for another three years. He’s one of our marquee players and he will play an important leadership role at the club over that period of time.’


FACT FILE


Ryan Cross
Position: Centre
Physical: 1.91m, 100kg
Age: 28 (Born 6/10/79 in Sydney, NSW)
Super 14 Caps: 23
Super 14 Points: 35 (7t)
Super 14 Debut: 2007 v Highlanders, Perth
Representative Honours: Australian Schoolboys (1996-97), Australia A (2007)

 

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