Star centre Kyle Godwin faces a potentially awkward outing when he lines up for the Western Force in Saturday night’s Super Rugby clash with the Brumbies in Canberra.
Rumours are rife Godwin will defect to the Brumbies at the end of the season, ending his five-year stint at the Force.
The Force are the last stumbling block in the Brumbies’ hopes of reaching this year’s Super Rugby finals, and Godwin’s creativity in the centres looms as a key aspect of the match.
The Brumbies and Waratahs are currently tied on points at the top of the Australian conference, but only one team can make the finals.
The Brumbies are in the box seat to secure the Australian spot in the playoffs given they’ve snared more wins than the Waratahs.
But if the Waratahs manage to take an upset victory over the Blues in Auckland on Friday night, the pressure will be on the Brumbies when they face off against the Force.
A bonus-point win to the Waratahs would mean the Brumbies need to achieve the same result against the Force to qualify for the finals.
The Force have endured a nightmare season both on and off the field.
The Australian Rugby Union took over the running of the Force last month in a bid to dig the Perth-based franchise out of its financial mess.
Coach Michael Foley was sacked shortly after the team’s 2-10 start to the season.
And the dire situation was further compounded last week when it was revealed a number of star players misbehaved during the recent tour of South Africa.
Fullback Dane Haylett-Petty was fined $5000 for urinating in the hallway of the team’s hotel, while prop Pek Cowan was fined the same amount for his unauthorised use of the Force’s mini-bus after the 1am team curfew.
Godwin’s likely exit is a massive blow to the Force, who have struggled to attract and retain star players in the past five years.
The Force signed 25-year-old Gloucester centre Bill Meakes on a two-year deal earlier this week, and club management are hopeful the new alliance with the ARU will help bring in some much-needed star power.