Western Force sign Wallabies lock Rodda from Lyon

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(Reuters) - Western Force have signed Wallabies lock Izack Rodda from French Top 14 club Lyon Olympique Universitaire (LOU), the Super Rugby side announced on Tuesday.

Rodda, who has earned 25 caps with the Wallabies and played in the 2019 World Cup, has Super Rugby experience having previously played 46 times for Queensland Reds before moving to LOU last year when he refused to take a pay cut.

"Izack has a great level of Super Rugby and international experience, which is important when playing in the tight five," head coach Tim Sampson said.

"It's fantastic for us and Australian rugby to have players like Izack return and he is genuinely excited to be a part of our club moving forward."

Reds coach Brad Thorn said last week that he was disappointed to hear of Rodda's return after the 24-year-old refused to make sacrifices while the sport suffered financially due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rodda, whose contract with the French club ends in June, was linked with a move back to other clubs including the Waratahs and he said it was "fantastic to be heading home".

"The Force is a very ambitious club that are looking to become the best in the competition, so this is an opportunity that I'm very excited to make the most of," Rodda said.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)