Local Alex Masibaka makes Western Force debut

Homegrown talent Alex Masibaka has finally had his chance to play rugby union on the national stage after making his debut with the Western Force.

The 20-year-old flanker made his debut at the Force’s Super Rugby Pacific clash against the Auckland Blues on April 29.

While the Force couldn’t seal the win, going down 18-22, Masibaka’s 22 minutes on the field earned high praise from Force coach Tim Sampson.

“He’s a quality footballer. He’s got a big carry in his game, nice footwork, he’s physical,” he said.

Masibaka, who completed his primary schooling at Calista Primary School in Kwinana, made the last two Junior Wallabies squads but was unable to play as both tours were cancelled due to COVID-19.

The young gun said it was “pretty crazy” getting out onto the field for the Force.

“One of my first involvements was tackling (All Blacks fly-half) Beauden Barrett,” Masibaka said.

“It was a crazy moment because I grew up watching him.”

Masibaka came through the Force’s academy system and has played for Associates Rugby Club in the RugbyWA competition since he was four. He was also in the 2019 Australian Schools and under-18s side.

Since his debut, Masibaka has played for a short time in the Force’s match against the Crusaders on May 7 and is now on tour with the team in New Zealand.

The Force next play the Chiefs at FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday May 21, followed by Moana Pasifika in Auckland on May 24, with their final home fixture at HBF Park on Saturday May 28 against the Hurricanes.

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