Tessmann wants to repay Force for career turnaround

FORMER Maroochydore star Heath Tessmann wants to extend his career at the Western Force, as he enters the final year of his contract with the Perth-based club.

The 30-year-old hooker said he wanted to repay the Force for picking him up from the professional rugby scrapheap three years ago and was determined to turn the club into a Super Rugby contender.

"They've shown faith in me and I would like to repay that faith," Tessmann said yesterday.

"I think we've got a good core of guys who are sticking together and I think we've turned the corner with this team and we're on the edge of going that little bit further."

The hardworking rake signed with the Force before the 2012 season after being told by his former club, the Melbourne Rebels, he was expendable.

Tessmann earned a two-year extension after his first season and was named in the Wallabies squad at the end of last season following injuries to several hookers.

He missed out on a maiden Test jersey due to an ankle injury but returned early in the pre-season to earn his spot on the bench for today's season-opener against the New South Wales Waratahs.

Tessmann intends to push incumbent starting hooker Nathan Charles for a spot in the first 15 while convincing the club to give him a new contract.

"At this point in time I'm looking at talking to the Force again to see where they see me fitting in the future," he said.

"Besides that I haven't given it too much thought."

Tessmann's main concern is getting the Force over the hump after narrowly missing the finals last season.

He said finishing eighth last year - two points outside the finals - had taught the team it could not be complacent if it wanted to be there at the business end of the year.

"Our goal last year was to be the best Force team ever. We did that," Tessmann said. "It's the same goal this year.

"We want to win at least 10 games, but we also want to get more out of some games.

"If we can get those four-try bonus points, we need them.

"If we can't win, we need to try to get a bonus point.

"Those points make a big difference at the finals end of the year."

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