Western Force Forwards Coach Nick Stiles has extended his contract with the club for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
With RugbyWA looking to appoint a new head coach by mid-July, Stiles is the first confirmed member of the Western Force coaching staff for 2013.
The former Wallaby front-rower joined the Western Force for the 2011 Super Rugby season and has continued to develop the West Australian pack into one of the most revered in the tournament.
Prior to joining the Western Force, Stiles - who played 12 Tests for Wallabies between 2001 and 2002 - held down the role of Director of Rugby for the University of Queensland (2005-2007), before taking up a position as consultant and then Forwards Coach for Japanese Top League club, the Kubota Spears.
Stiles, who was a stalwart in a star-studded Queensland pack during his 96 caps between 1993 and 2005, says he is excited about continuing to work with and challenging the Western Force's dominant forward pack.
"I've really enjoyed my time here over the past two seasons; we've achieved a lot as a forward pack but there's still a lot more to achieve and I'm looking forward to helping them realise that potential," he said.
"Obviously Sharpie won't be here next season and with him having been such a strong presence at the Force it's important that we do have continuity. We've retained the bulk of our pack and for the club to realise success we need to continue to be strong in our forwards.
"We've seen some great development in players like Nathan Charles, Pek Cowan, Sam Wykes and Kieran Longbottom, and we've got a very good core of players that will allow us to continue to be strong."
The 38-year-old says he's looking forward to working with the successful candidate for the Western Force head coaching position in 2013.
"I hadn't worked with Richard [Graham] before I came to the Force and I think I grew and developed as a coach under his guidance," he said.
"Given the calibre of coaches the club is talking to for next season, there will be the ability for me to develop and grow under them as well. Just as you demand your players to get better, the same goes for the coaches; you need to continue to grow and evolve and the coaches that the club is talking to will certainly allow me to do that."
RugbyWA CEO Vern Reid says the retention of Stiles ensures some continuity for the side leading into the 2013 Super Rugby season.
"Being able to lock in Nick is another significant step forward for next season," he said. "He's continued to develop what is one of the best forward packs in Super Rugby.
"Nick has considerable experience as a player and he's been able to transfer the benefits of that into his coaching. He has a tremendous rapport with the players; he certainly has their respect, he's a strong communicator and he's another vital cog in the future success of this side.
"While we are continuing the process with regard to the appointment of a new head coach for the Western Force for next season, Nick's appointment guarantees that regardless of who the successful candidate is, he will be fortunate enough to already have one of the best forward coaches on his coaching staff."