Force

Tah’s fly-half MacKay joins new Western Force

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Promising NSW Waratahs fly-half Lachlan MacKay said Wednesday he would join Australia’s new Super 14 rugby franchise Western Force on a three-year deal.

And Mackay could be joined in Perth by former South African under-21 skipper and current Wallaby Clyde Rathbone, who flew here Wednesday to look over the organisation, which plays in the expanded series from next year.

MacKay, a former Australian under-21 captain, joins Queensland Reds second-rower Nathan Sharpe and Waratahs hooker Brendan Cannon as major signings for the new club, to be coached by former All Blacks mentor John Mitchell.

“I have agonised over the decision – especially since our win over the ACT Brumbies last Saturday,” MacKay said Wednesday.

“But, in the end, the opportunity to be part of helping to build a brand new rugby team influenced my decision.

“It won’t be easy leaving the Waratahs, especially when we’re in with a big show of winning the Super 12, but I am comfortable with my reasons for making the switch”.

Rathbone will spend the next three days here learning more about the city and the club before making his decision to stay in Canberra or join Perth.

Brumbies scrum-half Matt Henjak will arrive on Thursday for a check of the set-up before making a decision.

Mackay was handed the starting job ahead of Shaun Berne at the start of this year’s Super 12 season.

After a year blighted by a rib injury Mackay showed signs of his best last weekend, scoring the lone try in the Waratahs’ 10-6 win over the Brumbies.

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