The Western Force has today announced the addition of a further two Wallabies, Pekahou Cowan and Nick Frisby, to the squad ahead of their first Super Rugby AU clash on Saturday, July 11.
Cowan first joined the Western Force in 2006 as an 18-year-old before making his debut against the Waratahs later that year. A member of the foundation squad, Cowan is the second most capped Force player, trailing 11 games behind former captain Matt Hodgson, with 130 appearances in the blue and black.
The iconic Force prop played 10 games with the Wallabies, making his debut for the national team in 2009 against Italy.
The 34-year-old is on special release from Japanese Top Challenge League side Shimizu Blue Sharks, who he joined at the end of 2017. Special mention to the Shimizu corporation, in particular the Head coach Okuma San and team manager Nikki San, for allowing the Western Force and Pek this opportunity.
Force head of rugby Matt Hodgson said the addition of Cowan and Frisby will add another layer of depth and experience to the team, as well as giving Cowan a much-deserved chance to play with the Force again.
“I have played with Pek for most of my career, he is a top bloke and a true Force player at heart. As soon as he saw there was an opportunity to play with the team, even for a short while, we both knew he had to be included,” Hodgson said.
“We’re very grateful that the Shimizu Blue Sharks have released Pek for the Super Rugby AU competition, we are all very excited to see his return in the Force jersey.
“It will be massive to see Pek play rugby in Australia again and to see him play in front of the Sea of Blue.
“After what happened in 2017, he left Australian rugby because he couldn’t see himself playing for another Australian team and relocated to Japan. So his return means a great deal to him and the club.”
Former Reds player Nick Frisby made 66 appearances in his five years with the Queensland side. His first Wallabies squad call-up came in 2016, before moving to Europe to play for French side Bordeaux Bègles.
The 27-year-old Brisbane born Frisby joined Scotland’s successful Pro14 team the Glasgow Warriors in 2018, where he gained extensive international experience.
Hodgson said Frisby’s ability to change the speed of the game and play at a high intensity for long periods of time suited the style of play that the Force is looking to deliver in the Australian domestic competition.
“Nick is a very talented player who moved overseas for more opportunities in the last few years,” Hodgson said.
“He is an intelligent scrum-half with an exceptional running game that will be vital for the upcoming games. He has matured his skills playing at a number of different clubs overseas and we are excited to bring this level of player back to Australia.”
Having travelled to Australia from overseas, Cowan will quarantine in Sydney and join the team at their NSW hub. Already in Brisbane, Frisby will join the team when they arrive in Sydney for round 2.