It still doesn’t feel real. Or right for that matter.

The Western Force gave me the opportunity to build towards my dream of playing professional rugby. 

As a budding youngster who graduated through the Western Australia junior ranks, I always knew there was a clear pathway for me to achieve my dream.

For those young Western Australian rugby players now coming through the system, I worry it is going to become much more difficult for them.

I sincerely hope that for the sport’s sake, as well as that of the state program, the talent pool is not impacted in any way.

Although, it is hard to believe it won’t be.

Kyle Godwin exclusive insight western forceAs a former Aquinas College schoolboy from Perth, I know first-hand what might have happened to me had I not had the opportunities I did to play rugby as a real career choice.

If that clear pathway to the Force hadn’t been there, well right now I might be kicking around a Sherrin round instead, such is the popularity of playing AFL footy for any boy or girl growing up in Perth.

Throughout 2017, although I was no longer at the club, I could not escape the commentary surrounding the future of the team, and on reflection it was really upsetting to see how it has all happened.

I had a lot of close friends down at the Force, and the club will always have such a strong place in my heart.

To see it kind of crumble and frizzle out the way it did, was hugely disappointing. 

I called the Force home for such a long period of time – it just isn’t right they no longer have a place in Super Rugby. 

There is so much support in Western Australia, and such a huge rugby fan base that, I believe will continue to fly the flag back home.

The “Sea of Blue”will once again have the opportunity to cheer on the Western Force when they take on the Fiji Warriors in their opening match of the World Series Rugby this Friday night. I will be there supporting. Without the likes of Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and Matt Hodgson, who are both making an amazing impact on rugby throughout Western Australia, none of this would have been possible.

I look back on my time with The Force with nothing but amazing and lifelong memories and to know other young Western Australians aspiring to play rugby professionally will also have this opportunity again is amazing.

However, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to continue my career with The Brumbies in Canberra over the past two season.

Since the moment I arrived in the Australian capital ahead of the 2017 Season, I have felt really settled; unfortunately, on the field it has been a time filled with plenty of ups and downs (as cliche as that sounds!).

Last year I played myself into form in the early rounds of the Super Rugby competition before breaking my hand, requiring an extended stint on the sidelines.

The healing process allowed me some time to allow the rest of my body to freshen itself, but after a handful of games back I injured myself again with extensive damage to my medial ligament in my knee.

I think playing in a Wallabies jumper is at the back of every rugby player’s mind; while we don’t really like to talk about it I’m sure everyone pushes their case to get the opportunity to wear the green and gold. 

Kyle Godwin exclusive insight wallabies

For me that’s always been a goal of mine, but that kind of stuff always seems to take care of itself. Unfortunately, in 2017 injuries really halted my progression in the Wallaby squads and it wasn’t to be.

I made my Test debut against France in 2016 and it was probably the highlight of my career to date. 

I’ll remember forever playing in front of 90,000 screaming French fans singing “Les, Les Blue” 

It was pretty incredible and to get the win overseas was kind of just the cherry on top. 

And you know it gave me great confidence in myself that I could perform and play rugby at the highest level and for me it’s kind of that little incentive to make sure I push my case to play more games for the Wallabies. When I signed overseas earlier this year I wasn’t closing the door on my Wallabies dream, I rather saw it as a chance for me to spend some time away and return to Australia a better and more rounded player.   

There are a number of areas I am looking to improve overseas, including my ability to be more damaging in attack and to develop better game management – that is certainly something I feel I need to work on to go further with my Wallaby aspirations.