Super 14
Castle completes Force switch
NZPA
January 31, 2009
The Chiefs' Ben Castle is tackled by the Reds' defence, Chiefs v Reds, Super 14, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand, April 26, 2008
Castle in action for the Chiefs during last year's Super 14 © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Ben Castle
Tournaments/Tours: Super 14
Teams: Australia | Force

Former Chiefs prop Ben Castle has signed with coach John Mitchell's Western Force for the upcoming Super 14 season.

Castle, 29, was expected to arrive in Perth today after he parted ways with French club Toulon and actively sought a spot on the Force's roster. "He fell into our lap. It was a nice surprise," Force rugby manager Mitch Hardy told the West Australian newspaper.

"We made no secret of the fact that we were looking for an experienced tighthead over the off-season, and when Ben approached us with an interest in coming to Western Australia we were quick to act."

The 1.85m, 115kg Castle made his name with Bay of Plenty and played the first of his 42 Super rugby matches against the Crusaders in 2004. He was selected in the Junior All Blacks the following year.

Mitchell welcomed Castle's presence as an influential senior member of the Force's tight five. "He's a solid lad who takes pride in his scrummaging and has a lot of knowledge to pass on.

"He's an old-school type of prop who is a good fit for our squad. He will add experience and depth to our ranks, alongside fellow tightheads AJ Whalley, Troy Takiari and Kieran Longbottom. He's renowned as a strong scrummager and will have benefited from his season in France."

Castle will make his Force debut in their tough season opener against the Blues in Perth in a fortnight.

© Scrum.com

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