Ebersohn starting for Force

Sat, 02 Mar 2013 06:45
Large sias ebersohn force h s Large toby lynn force Large sias ebersohn on ground 630

The Western Force has made four changes to their starting XV to tackle the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Western Force has made four changes to their starting XV to tackle the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

Lock Toby Lynn, prop Salesi Ma'afu and back row forward Richard Brown all return to the run-on side.

The fourth changes sees Cheetahs recruit and former Baby Bok flyhalf Sias Ebersohn make his first start in the No.10 jersey for the Western Australians.

Bloemfontein-born Ebersohn will return to the Highveld for the first time since joining the Force, after three Super Rugby seasons representing the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs.

The 24-year-old, who made his maiden appearance for the Force as a replacement against the Rebels in Week One, replaces playmaker Sam Christie in an otherwise unchanged backline.

Lynn's recall to the starting pack coincides with his 50th career Super Rugby match.

The 28-year-old, who made his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs in 2007, played 32 matches for the Waikato side before joining the Western Force ahead of the 2012 season.

Lynn is joined in the tight five by Wallabies tighthead Salesi Ma'afu, who is set to make his first appearance for the Force in 2013, replacing Tetera Faulkner, who reverts to the bench.

Veteran back row forward Richard Brown also forces his way into the starting side after two powerful performances from the bench, including a try-scoring effort against the Rebels in Melbourne. Brown joins captain Matt Hodgson in the back row and remain the club's two survivors from the Force's 30-27 win in Pretoria in 2007.

The Force will again feature five forwards on its bench, with Faulkner, Sam Wykes and Ben McCalman joining hooker Heath Tessmann and flank Chris Alcock on the reserves list. Former Hurricanes midfielder Jayden Hayward is in line to make his debut for his new province during the match, alongside Mick Snowden, who became the 107th and most recent debutante for the Western Force last weekend.

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley said his side was focused on improving following their loss to the Kings last Saturday.

"We were disappointed with last week's performance, but as a young team, the important thing is how we learn and progress," he said.

"There were numerous elements of our game that were positive, particularly the way we started the match, but we need our basics to be more consistent to build pressure and gain momentum at Super Rugby level.

"As we strive to improve our skills and the way we play, it's important to remain composed and focused when errors occur, to ensure we continue to play as a XV and maximise opportunities we create.

"Salesi and Richard bring with them a great deal of experience and physicality and we're all keen to mark Toby's 50th game with a good performance. Saturday also represents a good opportunity for Sias in an environment in which he's played in more than any other member of our team."

Western Force: 15 Will Tupou, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Ben McCalman, 20  Chris Alcock, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Jayden Hayward.

Date: Saturday, March 2
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa),Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19