Former Australia cricket coach Mickey Arthur will head up the Western Force’s expanded development program to identify and nurture the best talent from Australia and abroad.
The initial goal of the program will be to identify the best young local talent and include them under the Force umbrella, where Arthur, who also coached the South African cricket team, will play a mentoring role to help fast-track their development.
The ‘Future Force’ program will also attempt identify young talent from interstate and abroad, and relocate them to Perth.
Players between the ages of 17-19 will be the primary target.
Arthur, who was sacked as Australia’s cricket coach last year, has remained in Perth and is keen to build the Future Force program into one of the best rugby development programs in the world.
The Force expect between 5-10 players will be included in the program in the first 12 months, with 10-15 to participate after that.
Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry expects the program, which is an extension of the current development program, to cost the franchise an extra $500,000 per year.
South African Arthur, who played rugby in high school, won’t be responsibly for any of the talent identification or coaching.
“For the players, this is about providing a holistic program – rugby, education and careers advice as well as social introductions – for those hungry for an opportunity and wishing to live their rugby dreams,” Arthur said on Friday.