1 Feb 2009

The Western Force signs former Chiefs Ben Castle

12:11 pm on 1 February 2009

The Western Force coach John Mitchell has confirmed the signing of former Chiefs and Toulon Ben Castle as their international player for the Super 14 rugby union 2009 season.

Castle earned 42 Super caps during his five seasons with the Chiefs and also represented the Junior All Blacks against Australia A in 2005.

The Force were thwarted in their earlier efforts to acquire a foreign tighthead prop but Toulon's decision at the start of the month to reduce their overseas contingent allowed the Force to swoop on Castle.

At 185cm and 115kg, Castle is a powerful scrummager who can play on either side of the scrum.

Mitchell says Castle has the experience and depth to add to their ranks.

The deal was approved by the Australian Rugby Union, and Castle is expected to train with his new teammates today.

The Force take on the Reds in Queensland on February 5 in their second pre-season hit-out following their 24-19 loss to the Crusaders in Perth last week.