The Force have signed former junior All-Black Ben Castle to their ranks in an effort to bolster the franchise’s meagre propping stocks. Considering the Force were chasing the likes of Tim Fairbrother and the du Plessis brothers, this can only be seen as a fairly desperate attempt to cobble together some sort of front-row and a massive vote of no confidence in the existing props at the Force.
Castle, who only joined Toulon at the start of the current Northern season, was unable to secure a regular first team spot, even though the team is rocketing toward relegation to semi-pro league below them. He was released by Toulon in the same week the French side named Philippe Saint-Andre as their coach for next season.
Not the sort of form you are looking for in your ‘marquee signing’, indeed, the mere fact he is being touted as the Force’s marquee signing makes a complete mockery of the whole idea behind the initiative.
It is a wonder how John Mitchell managed to keep a straight face when he was quoted as saying “He will add experience and depth to our ranks. He’s a renowned strong scrummager and will have benefited from his season in France”. Astounding!!!
Maybe Mitch was keen to sign a fellow Kiwi so at least he would have someone to talk with considering the vast majority of the Force’s playing squad and staff seems inclined not to.