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Polota-Nau leaves Waratahs to join the Force


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Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau has agreed to leave the Waratahs and play Super Rugby for the Western Force in 2017.

The 68 Test Wallabies hooker has signed a new one-year contract with the Australian Rugby Union and the Force.

Polota-Nau will make the move west to join the Western Force for the 2017 Super Rugby season after 11 seasons and 140 Super Rugby appearances with the Waratahs.

The 31-year-old is currently in Sydney continuing his rehabilitation following surgery on a fractured arm. The veteran hooker played with the injury for several months before eventually going under the knife last month.

The injury stunted a potential move overseas, providing a silver lining for both the Western Force and the Wallabies with the 114kg hooker electing to continue his career in Australia.

“I’m really looking forward to getting across to the west and joining the Force,” said Polota-Nau.

“(New Head Coach) Dave Wessels is very impressive and there is some great young talent coming through and really good leaders at the club like Hodgo (Matt Hodgson) and the new Wallabies Dane Haylett-Petty and Adam Coleman.”

An active board member, player and volunteer at the Parramatta Two Blues club in Sydney’s west throughout his professional playing career, Polota-Nau is one of the game’s most popular figures and is well known for his passion for community Rugby.

“One of the things I was keen to understand was the Force’s plans around community Rugby and that’s something I’m very keen to get involved when I get over to the west.”

The bullocking hooker said he was disappointed to have been forced out of the Wallabies’ Spring Tour with injury.

“The boys played really well against Wales on the weekend and obviously, I’m gutted I’m not on the tour having a crack at the Grand Slam. There is a really strong belief within the group and all the hard work that’s getting put into our preparation is going to show out in our games over in Europe”, he said.

“Playing for Australia is the ultimate for me and I want to continue playing for the Wallabies for as long as possible. The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport and having played in two, and reaching the final last year, the desire is certainly there to work towards getting another shot at the World Cup.

“Right now it’s just about getting myself ready to play and putting in a big pre-season with the Western Force ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season.”

Western Force Head Coach Dave Wessels says Polota-Nau is a big signing for the club and will bring a wealth of experience to the team.

“It’s fantastic to have a player of Tatafu’s experience,” he said. “He’s not only a very good rugby player, in my opinion one of the best in the business, but he’s also a really good guy.”

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