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Western Force signs Fitter and Pelesasa

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ACT Brumbies front row forward Dave Fitter has joined the Western Force for next years Super 14 rugby union competition, it was announced Wednesday.

The Super 12 competition will be renamed the Super 14 next year when it expands by two teams, the Western Force from Perth in Australia and one from South Africa.

Fitter, a tighthead prop, joined the Brumbies on a training contract at the end of 2000 and has been on a full contract with the current Super 12 premiers since the end of 2001.

The 28-year-old has played 15 times for the Brumbies, including two run-on starts during the 2005 season. He was injured throughout the 2004 season with a broken foot.

In 2003 he represented Australia A and is currently a member of the Australian Rugby Squad.

The remaining year of Fitters contract with the Brumbies has been assigned to the Force for the 2006 season.

Fitter said he decided to move west in the hope of gaining more match time and improving his skills and was also excited at being a foundation member of a new club.

“You talk to Owen Finegan, George Gregan and Joe Roff and theyll tell you how good it was to be a foundation member at the Brumbies, so Im looking forward to being a part of the Western Force debut,” he said in a statement.

Western Force coach John Mitchell described Fitter as a powerful prop and technically one of the best in the country, who had had limited opportunities at the Brumbies.

Western Force also announced that Queensland Reds outside centre Junior Pelesasa has agreed to join on a two-year contract.

Pelesasa, 24, made his Super 12 debut in 2001 and has played more than 40 matches for the Reds. He represented Australia at Schoolboys and Under 21 levels.

Pelesasa said he felt his career would benefit under coach John Mitchell, who described the new signing as one of the competitions most penetrative backs.

“For the first half of the 2005 season, Junior was clearly the best outside centre in Australia,” he said.

The New South Wales Waratahs announced they have secured ACT Brumbies flyhalf Sam Norton-Knight, 21, on a two-year contract.

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