By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Nearly three years after playing their last Super Rugby game, Western Force hope to be the "feel-good story" of Australian rugby when they return to the limelight next week, captain Iain Prior said on Wednesday.
The Perth-based side will join Australia's four Super Rugby teams in a 12-week domestic competition starting on Friday as professional rugby union returns to the country for the first time since March.
"Obviously, amongst the playing group thereâ€™s a lot of excitement," Prior said during the tournament's online launch on Wednesday.
"All the players have been working hard, as well as the coaches, to make sure we're right to go.
"Itâ€™s a huge moment for this club and organisation after a couple of years (out) â€¦ to be back and probably (be) a feel-good story for Australian rugby."
Force have played on under the patronage of Andrew Forrest, competing in the mining billionaire's Global Rapid Rugby tournament which features modified rules and Asia-Pacific teams.
Prior said their experience would be a huge boost.
"(Holmes) is raring to go and heâ€™s an absolute professional," he added.
"Weâ€™re really excited to see what he can do out there for us."
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)