Mathewson to fight for Force starting spot

Last updated 21:46 27/11/2012
Alby Mathewson
ON THE MOVE: Alby Mathewson will play for the Western Force in the 2013 Super Rugby season.

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After successfully negotiating his way through a two-day SAS camp, new Western Force recruit Alby Mathewson is ready to fight tooth and nail with Brett Sheehan for  the Super Rugby side's starting halfback spot.

Mathewson was lured to the Force as its marquee international  player, but that by no means guarantees the former All Black a  regular starting berth at the Perth-based franchise.

Sheehan has been a mighty warrior for the Force over the past  three seasons, with the 33-year-old even receiving a Wallabies  call-up this year.

Mathewson, who notched four Tests for the All Blacks, said he  would embrace his battle with Sheehan.

''I think it's going to bring the best out of both of us,''  Mathewson said on Tuesday.

''That's what competition does. I came here to compete for a  spot.

''I've heard a few stories that he's pretty competitive as well,  so it's only going to be good for the team.

''With halfback Piri Weepu limiting his opportunities at the  Blues, Mathewson jumped at the chance to join the Force under new  coach Michael Foley.

The 26-year-old, who has played 83 Super Rugby games, said he  was glad to be in Perth, despite the ''bloody hot'' weather.

''I like to play a quick style, and that's what Foley wants to  play - an attacking brand this year,'' Mathewson said.

''That was the reason for staying in Super Rugby as well rather  than going to Europe. This competition is the toughest in the world  and the style suits my play.

''Any thoughts Mathewson had of being eased in at the Force went  out the window last week when he and his new teammates were thrust  into a two-day SAS camp.

''There was no complaining. Everyone just got on with the job,  even though we were sleep deprived and what have you,'' Mathewson  said.

''It wasn't a flog-a-thon or anything. It was more mental, just  making sure that when times get tough, you stick together and use  teamwork to get through things.'' 

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