Force loading up on Puma power
TRANSFER NEWS: The Western Force has added more World Cup and Tri-Nations experience to the squad for 2021.
Argentina internationals Tomás Lezana, Santiago Medrano and Domingo Miotti have confirmed their move to Perth.
Lezana and Medrano, who have signed two-year deals, both played their part in the Los Pumas 2019 World Cup campaign in Japan and all three played key roles in the Jaguares surging to their first-ever Super Rugby Final last year.
The signings further strengthen the Western Australian side’s depth for the 2021 season.
With 39 caps for Argentina, Lezana is an established international with a wealth of franchise competition experience, having played 46 Super Rugby matches for the Jaguares, including the historic win over the All Blacks in Sydney on 15 November this year.
The powerful flank brings a no-nonsense approach, with his willingness to take players on in ball carrying situations and defensive prowess characterising his entertaining style of play.
The 26-year-old, who put pen to paper on a two-year deal, can’t wait to get started in Perth with his new teammates.
“It’s a very exciting time for the franchise and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” Lezana said.
“The Force has a great balance of local talent and world-class signings, so to be able to learn and work alongside this group of players and coaches is fantastic.”
Medrano, who has also signed a two-year contract, has 21 caps for Argentina and was also a part of the recent triumph over New Zealand. The forward has played 30 Super Rugby matches for the Jaguares since making his debut in 2018.
The 24-year-old tighthead prop known for his tough-tackling, tireless work rate and skills around the set-piece, is delighted to be joining the Force.
“I have heard great things about the passionate fan base and rugby community in Western Australia, which I can’t wait to experience,” Medrano explained.
“I’m really looking forward to developing my game and showing the fans what I’m capable of.”
Having announced himself in phenomenal fashion in his Super Rugby debut, scoring two tries and a conversion to seal a memorable comeback win for Jaguares against the Bulls in Round 8 of the 2019 season, flyhalf Domingo Miotti is a bright young prospect.
Miotti, who has signed a one-year deal with the franchise, made his Argentina Test debut in the entertaining Tri-Nations draw against the Wallabies on Saturday in Sydney.
Head Coach Tim Sampson believes the signings are a testament to the positive direction of the franchise.
“The franchise is delighted to have Tomás, Santiago and Domingo join us after their commitments with the national team have wound up,” Sampson said.
“All three players were in the matchday squad versus the Crusaders in the Super Rugby Grand Final in 2019, so they bring important experience at Super Rugby level to the squad.
“We’re looking forward to seeing them in Perth.”