Shepherd commits future to Force
April 12, 2008
Western Force and Wallabies back Cameron Shepherd has today finalised a new two year contract with RugbyWA and the Australian Rugby Union.
The 24-year-old confirmed he will remain with the Perth-based team until the end of the 2010 season.
Shepherd, who sits just seven points shy of 300 points in Super Rugby, is on the verge of his 50th Super Rugby cap and has represented his country on six occasions.
The inaugural Emirates Western Force squad member carved his name in West Australian sporting history when he booted the team to an historic first win at Subiaco Oval with a sideline conversion on the final siren against the Hurricanes last season.
The UK-born flyer said it was moments like that which confirmed he belonged in an Emirates Western Force jersey.
"It was a very proud moment for me personally to kick the winning goal but it was a special night for the entire team. We'd worked so hard to earn that first home win and it couldn't have been any sweeter when I saw the ball sail through the posts," said Shepherd.
Shepherd believes the WA side is on the verge of greater things in just its third season of Super 14 rugby.
"Having been here since day one I have seen the way the team has progressed and I honestly believe that if we play to our potential we can give this competition a real shake this season," he said.
"And with the talent we've got coming through, the future looks great as well. There's no reason why we can't become a dominant team in the competition for years to come."
After making a sizzling start to the 2007 Investec Super 14 season, an untimely knee injury prevented Shepherd from pressing claims for the Wallabies 2007 World Cup squad. However after returning for the Perth Spirit in the ARC he was rushed into the 30-man squad for injured winger Mark Gerrard and won his first RWC cap against Canada in Bordeaux.
"After such a good start to last season it was disappointing to miss out on initial selection in the World Cup squad, but I was privileged to get the opportunity to join the squad and play the match against Canada," said Shepherd.
"The experience of being involved in a World Cup campaign and just the atmosphere around France was incredible during the tournament and it's really inspired me to work harder and make sure I'm there for the next one," he said.
RugbyWA acting CEO Mitch Hardy said Shepherd had fielded offers from elsewhere before confirming his future in WA.
"After weighing up his options carefully we're absolutely delighted that Cameron decided that the Emirates Western Force program is the best one for him to continue his development as a rugby player and to attain his goal of becoming the Wallabies fullback."
"As an inaugural member of the Emirates Western Force, Cameron has played a key role in moulding the team into a genuine Super 14 title contender."