All Black to lead Force

Wed, 06 Feb 2013 08:45
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All Black scrumhalf Alby Mathewson will captain the Western Force against a Tongan XV in a pre-season trial in Mandurah on Friday.

All Black scrumhalf Alby Mathewson will captain the Western Force against a Tongan XV in a pre-season trial in Mandurah on Friday.

Mathewson, born in Hastings, New Zealand, played four Tests for the All Blacks and appeared in 80-odd Super Rugby matches for the Hurricanes and Blues before joining up with the Force this year.

Force coach Michael Foley named a 29-man squad for their final match of the pre-season.

The Tongan XV will be made up of Tongan eligible players from Australia, New Zealand and Tonga who do not have current Super Rugby contracts.

The Force coach, Foley, said the match provides a final opportunity for players to push their claims for selection for the team's Super Rugby opener against the Rebels on Friday, February 15.

"Last week's game [a narrow two-point loss to the Brumbies] was an important one as our first opportunity to play together as a team," he said.

"While our effort was good in the first quarter, we lacked cohesion.

"However, to the players' credit, they remained composed and became more comfortable together as the game progressed.

"I couldn't be more impressed with the attitude of this playing group. They're living up to the standards they've set and there's a determination within the group to see this team develop and improve. The pleasing outcome of last week's match is that we have a genuine contest for positions across the field and Friday's games will go a long way to confirming the side that takes to the field in Melbourne next week."

Western Force squad: Chris Alcock, Richard Brown, Luke Burton, Nathan Charles, Sam Christie, Adam Coleman, Angus Cottrell, Patrick Dellit, Tetera Faulkner, Kyle Godwin, Richard Hardwick, James Hilterbrand, Ollie Hoskins, Brad Lacey, Kieran Longbottom, Ryan Louwrens, Toby Lynn, Alfie Mafi, Salesi Manu, Alby Mathewson (captain), Ben Matwijow, Locky McCaffrey, Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman, Junior Rasolea, Winston Stanley, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Will Tupou, Sam Wykes.

Date: Friday, February 8
Venue: Meadow Springs Sporting Ground, Meadow Springs
Kick-off: 19.00 (10.00 GMT)
Referees: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Western Australia)

Highlanders vs Crusaders
sast: 08h35 | local: 19h35

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Sat, 17 March 2018
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Italy v Scotland 12h30 Rome
Stormers v Blues 13h05 Newlands
England v Ireland 14h45 Twickenham Stadium
Lions v Sunwolves 15h15 Johannesburg
Wales v France 17h00 Cardiff
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
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Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
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Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
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Fri, 16 March 2018
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Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
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France v England 22 | 16
Lions v Blues 35 | 38
Ireland v Scotland 28 | 8
Sharks v Sunwolves 50 | 22
Reds v Bulls 20 | 14
Hurricanes v Crusaders 29 | 19
Fri, 09 March 2018
Scarlets v Leinster 10 | 10
Rebels v Brumbies 33 | 10
Highlanders v Stormers 33 | 15
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 3 3 0 0 15
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Waratahs 3 1 1 1 6
Brumbies 3 1 0 2 4
Sunwolves 3 0 0 3 1
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Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 3 1 0 2 10
Crusaders 3 2 0 1 10
Highlanders 2 2 0 0 9
Blues 3 1 0 2 6
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 4 3 0 1 15
Sharks 3 1 1 1 8
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Stormers 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4