Another Wallaby has joined the Western Force squad, with Sitaleki Timani returning to the club as an injury replacement for the remainder of the season after leaving France for family reasons.
The towering lock adds a wealth of experience to the Force, having won both the French Top 14 and European Rugby Challenge Cup during his time in France.
The Tongan-born second-rower began his professional career in 2008 with the Force, making his Super Rugby debut against the Sharks in Durban. Timani went on to make eight appearances for the club before moving on to the ACT Brumbies in 2009, then to the NSW Waratahs in 2011.
In 2011 Timani became Wallaby No. 851 after making his debut against Samoa in Sydney on the 17th of July. The 203cm lock has 18 Test caps to his name.
After earning over 50 Super Rugby caps, Timani made the move to France in 2013, signing for Montpellier. He went on to make 45 appearances between 2013-2016 before switching to fellow Top 14 side Clermont.
Timani established himself as one of the league’s premier second-rower, playing over 100 times for Clermont, including matches alongside recent Force recruit Jake McIntyre since 2019.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank Clermont for all their support over the years and most recently in our decision to return home for family reasons. They have been a big part of our lives and I wish them continued success in the future. I wouldn’t be the player I am today without them,” Timani said.
“Linking back up with the Western Force where I started my professional rugby career is something I could never have imagined. They are a club with great ambition, and I can’t wait to reunite with the Sea of Blue at HBF Park soon.”
Head of rugby Matt Hodgson is delighted to add further international experience to the squad.
“Timani adds invaluable experience to the team. His consistency in Super Rugby and overseas proves his adaptability and dynamism,” Hodgson said.
“Having a player of Timani’s class join the group at this stage after a few injuries is fantastic and we can’t wait to see him back in the blue jersey.”