Wessels to still help out Force

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Dave Wessels will return to oversee the new “Western Force” in next year’s proposed Indo Pacific Rugby Championship even though he has taken charge of Melbourne Rebels.

Wessels, who looked initially poised to join Irish powerhouse Munster, instead chose to stay in Australia with the Rebels.

His decision would have been like in salt in the wounds for Force fans, who already had to see the Rebels survive the Super Rugby axe and not them.

But now it has been revealed that one of the contributing factors to him opting to stay in Australia was being able to come back to the new "Force".

“One of the things we’ve agreed is that I will get leave to coach in Andrew Forrest’s IPRC later in the year,” Wessels told the West Australian.

Meanwhile, former Force players second-rower Adam Coleman, outside back Dane Haylett-Petty, hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and fringe Wallabies Curtis Rona, Billy Meakes and Richard Hardwick are all expected to follow Wessels to the Rebels.

“We’ll be hoping to lock all that away and make some announcements about players and coaching staff in the next couple of days,” Wessels said.

“The thing for me about the decision was when I stepped back and reflected that had it not been for everyone in Australian rugby I wouldn’t be living my dream of being able to coach professionally.

“They showed me a huge amount of faith and loyalty and I felt it was important to reciprocate that.”