Force sign Canada international Cline, re-sign Fell and Teepa

Tue, Feb 13, 2024, 9:00 AM
by Ben Somerford

The Western Force have landed the signature of Canada international hooker Sara Cline for the 2024 Super W season while experienced pair Kendra Fell and Libya Teepa have re-signed.

The Edmonton-born 26-year-old debuted for Canada against the Wallaroos in last July’s World Rugby Pacific Four Series in Ottawa.

Cline plays for Leprechaun Tigers in her homeland while she’s had experience in England with Exeter Chiefs, providing the link with Force Academy assistant coach Greg Holmes who previously played for that club too.

Experienced scrum-half Fell, 29, re-signs after starting four of the Force’s five Super W games last season. Fell won the 2022 RugbyWA best and fairest women’s player with Cottesloe, with her kicking guiding them to the 2022 Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade premiership. Fell has played 13 games for the Force including being part of the inaugural squad in 2018.

Kalamunda Kweens lock Teepa, 28, was part of the Force squad in both 2022 and 2023, clocking up eight Super W appearances. Teepa started three games in 2023 and scored a game-breaking try in the thrilling 23-10 win over Fijiana Drua in Round 4.

Speaking about Cline, who arrived in WA last month during Perth’s heatwave straight out of Canada’s winter, Force head coach Dylan Parsons said: “Sara is a quality international coming out of Canada. She’s come across with a really good attitude, great professionalism and that’s already rubbing off on the girls we already have here.

“Sara and Hera-Barb (Malcolm Heke) will go head to head in that hooker position. Our goal is to have two deep in every position which allows us to have positions like that filled with quality.”

Parsons added the re-signings of Fell and Teepa, who’ve both been around the Club for the past few years, was important.

“Kendra is an experienced player who adds a lot of value to the program,” he said.

“With her position she shows a lot of leadership helping these young girls along. It’s been great to see Kendra’s love of the game really ignite. She can see where the program is heading and wants to buy in. We value her and what she brings to this club.

“Lib is an experienced player in our group and a well-respected member. With that experience a lot of the young girls look up to her. She’s one of those consistent players that can be relied on, who every week you know what you’re going to get from her. That’s what we really like about her.”

The Force open their Super W campaign on Friday March 15 from 4:30pm against the Melbourne Rebels at HBF Park.

Prior to that, the Force women will face Japanese club Tokyo Sankyu Phoenix in two pre-season trial games from Friday 23 February from 4:30pm prior to the Force men’s Super Rugby season opener at HBF Park. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.

2024 Western Force Super W squad: Sara Cline, Kendra Fell, Zoe Gillard, Haylee Hifo, Sheree Hume, Tamika Jones, Natsuki Kashiwagi, Saelua Leaula, Nicole Ledington, Michaela Leonard, Keira MacAskill, Rosie McGehan, Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke, Hinata Komaki, Alapeta Ngauamo, Hannah Palelei, Trilleen Pomare, Anneka Stephens, Pia Tapsell, Libya Teepa, Harono Te Iringa, Brooklyn Teki-Joyce, Alanis Toia, Braxton Walker, Aiysha Wigley, Samantha Wood - Seneti Kilisimasi, Siutiti Ma’ake (PacificAus Sports scholarships)