The Force’s South African recruits have formed a new bond, but know that the ultimate goal is to thrive in Super Rugby.
Former Cheetahs flyhalf Sias Ebersohn was the first to head to the Perth side in 2013, and is now joined by Bulls lock Wilhelm Steenkamp (a relative of Ebersohn), Sharks back-rower Brynard Stander and the Western Province quintet of Marcel Brache, Chris Heiberg, Dillyn Leyds, Dylan Sage and Francois van Wyk, for the 2014 season.
Ebersohn said he loved having his countrymen around and they all meet on a Saturday morning at Cape to Cairo – a South African wholesaler in Osborne Park.
‘We also braai together when we can, but apart from that we fit the Perth culture,’ said Ebersohn on the Force website. ‘We like the beach, like they do in South Africa as well. We don’t always have the opportunity back home – like in Bloemfontein, where there’s no beach – so to have Perth as your club and as your beach is great.
‘The only thing is that since the other players have joined and we’ve started talking Afrikaans with each other, my English has got worse.'
While Ebersohn is enjoying the socialising with his fellow South Africans, he is well aware of his job at the Force.
‘When I came over they gave me an opportunity and that’s the biggest reason why I came to the Force. The boys that come here and know that if they work hard they’ll be rewarded with game time. That’s what it is all about – getting on the pitch.
'That’s the thing about the Force – if you perform and you do well, you get rewarded for it.’
The Force will host two pre-season fixtures in Perth when they face Samoa A in Rockingham (7 February) and Argentinian side, the Pampas XV, in Joondalup (14 February).
Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images