Force closing in on NRL winger Rona

The Western Force are closing in on the signature of NRL winger Curtis Rona, but rumours are growing Kyle Godwin could defect to the Brumbies.

The Force are reportedly close to finalising a Super Rugby deal with Rona, who is contracted with the Canterbury Bulldogs until the end of 2017 but is keen on a code switch in time for the next season.

Rona scored 23 tries in his first full NRL season with the Bulldogs last year, and his signing would give the Perth-based franchise a much-needed boost in scoring firepower.

The Force have scored a competition-low 21 tries this season, and their 2-10 win-loss record led to the axing of coach Michael Foley last week.

Rona was born in New Zealand, but moved to Perth when he was eight.

The 194cm, 102kg powerhouse was a member of the Force junior academy, before making the switch to league in 2009.

He notched seven NRL appearances for North Queensland in 2014, but it wasn’t until last year that he showcased his full potential.

The 24-year-old has played all 14 games for the Bulldogs this season, for eight tries.

But while Rona’s arrival would be a timely boost, the Force are preparing for a mass exodus at the end of the season.

Godwin is set to link with the Brumbies, and flanker Chris Alcock could join him there.

And former Wallabies hooker Nathan Charles is considering a move overseas.

A host of fringe Force players will also leave the club, including Solomoni Rasolea, Guy Millar, and Steve Mafi.

The future of ex-All Blacks scrumhalf Alby Mathewson remains up in the air.

Meanwhile, Force interim coach David Wessels is keen to take over the top job full-time, and he has three games to show his worth.

Wessels faces stiff competition, with former Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer reportedly interested in the role.

But Wessels said his recent experience would hold him in good stead if he did happen to land the head role full-time.

“I think every coach at some point wants to be a head coach, and this is the club I love,” Wessels said on Friday.

“It’s a big step up for me. I might have aged 30 years in the next couple of days and people will say I’m too old by the end of next week.

“I’ll definitely throw my hat into the ring. But we’ll wait and see what happens.”

Wessels has spent the past three seasons as a senior assistant at the Force.

Before that, he was a defence consultant at the Brumbies, and also held a similar role at the Stormers.

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