Exciting Wallaby winger-fullback Drew Mitchell has moved from Queensland to the Western Force in a three-year deal starting next season.
Coming hot on the heels of the massive deal to lure Brumbies star Matt Gietau west, the Perth franchise is fast assembling a far more competitive backline for coach John Mitchell to work with.
He will help give the Force some real strike power, something they have lacked in the debut season of the Rebel Sport Super 14 where they lie bottom of the table with two draws and 9 losses.
The 22-year-old was the Queensland Reds' leading tryscorer last year before posting a five-pointer on his Wallaby debut against South Africa, and finishing the 2005 test season with 10 caps and six tries.
He has played 34 Super rugby games for the Reds and scored nine tries.
RugbyWA chief executive Peter O'Meara said the former Australian under-21 captain was a fantastic signing for the Western Force and along with Giteau would significantly boost the team's backline strength.
"He's not only versatile - being able to play at fullback, either wing or at outside centre - Drew is young and we'll help him reach his full potential and he'll be a key part of our long term future," he said.
"We're delighted he has made the move for football and lifestyle reasons, not financial ones."
Mitchell said he had received three similar offers but had decided to move to Perth because of the rugby program, the lifestyle and the opportunity to link up with old mates.
"I'm looking forward to catching up with Nathan (Sharpe), Junior (Pelesasa), Matt (Henjak), Shep (Cameron Shepherd) and Gits (Matt Giteau) at a team which has shown plenty of promise this year and will definitely have a good crack next year," he said.
Force coach John Mitchell described his latest recruit as having spacial awareness that created opportunities for others.
"He's an outside threat, who is very quick and has a good left foot kicking game," he said.
"He'll be part of a fantastic combination in the back three - whichever role he plays - along with the likes of Cameron Shepherd."
Mitchell said recruitment of the Wallaby winger was just another example of the club's determination to establish the right player mix.[/b]