NPC to feel the Force

The Western Force are already planning for next year’s Super 14 and will send several players across the Tasman to play in the Premier Division of the new NPC, rather than having them return to the “lower standard” of Sydney club rugby.

The Force are currently winless in the Vodacom Super 14 and prop up the table, but have a plan in place to improve the team’s fortunes for next season.

Force coach and former All Blacks mentor John Mitchell told New Zealand’s Newstalk ZB News that his players need experience, and it is what is in the best interests of the Force, with players needing the right direction after the Vodacom Super 14 and looking to next year.

Mitchell says the players need a lift in standard but the moves are not pleasing Sydney club coaches, where most of the Force players are based outside the Super 14.

The former All Blacks coach wants his players to gain experience in the NPC because he says it is a better standard than Sydney’s club competition where most play after the Super 14.

He is in discussions with his CEO and chairman over who will be released and who won’t. He is willing to risk upsetting coaches across the Tasman for what is best for his side.

Mitchell says it will likely be just a handful of players who come to New Zealand. The Force play the Blues on Friday at North Harbour Stadium in the opening game of week 10 of the competition.