Western Force boost forward stocks, sign Waratahs second-rower Jeremy Williams, farewell winger Brad Lacey

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Nick TaylorThe West Australian
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Jeremy Williams will join the Western Force next season.
Camera IconJeremy Williams will join the Western Force next season. Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Western Force have signed Waratahs second-rower Jeremy Williams as they continue to rebuild for the next Super Rugby Pacific season.

But homegrown winger Brad Lacey will not be back.

Williams has made 17 Super appearances since his debut last year and has represented the Junior Wallabies, Australian Schools as well as the Australia under-18s.

He said the move would take him out of his comfort zone and provide an opportunity to develop his game.

“I think this is going to be a really good move. I’ve been in Sydney all my life,” Williams said.

“I saw a good opportunity here to develop my game and take it to the next level.

“It is a good time for me to get out of my comfort zone and take on a new challenge.

“I’m looking forward to working with (coach Simon) Cron again. I’ve had a bit of experience with him before, and I think working with him will be awesome.”

Rugby manager Matt Hodgson said Williams had the potential to create a big future at the Force.

“Jeremy is a talented young player who is hungry for the opportunity to play more consistently at the Super Rugby level, which makes him a very exciting signing for us,” Hodgson said.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Brad Lacey of the Force crosses for a try during the Global Rapid Rugby match between the Western Force and the World XV at HBF Park on March 22, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Camera IconBrad Lacey will depart the Force. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

“We know he is a hard worker, which is a trait we are always looking for.”

“His ability to swing between the second row and the back row makes him a versatile addition to the team.

“It will be great to see him pair up with the likes of Izack Rodda and Kane Koteka and see how he develops and learns from them.”

Lacey, a 2011 Australian Schoolboys under-20 representative, said on social media: “Unfortunately, my time has come to an end at the Western Force.

“I grew up admiring the jersey and the players who went before and hoping that I could become part of that history and live a childhood dream one day.

“My number 1 goal was to be a role model for young Western Australian kids.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Jeremy Williams of the Waratahs is held back by Lukhan Salakaia-Loto of the Reds during the round 6 Super RugbyAU match between the NSW Waratahs and the Queensland Reds at Stadium Australia, on March 27, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Camera IconThe Western Force have added Jeremy Williams to their roster. Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

“I wanted to leave a legacy knowing that my tiny little time in saving the Western Force has created a bright future for grassroots sport in Western Australia.

“This is not the end of my book; this is just the end of a chapter in it. And what a chapter it was.”

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