Force changes four

Sat, 30 Mar 2013 05:41
Large matt hodgson h s2 Large nathancharlesforce Large matt hodgson h s

Captain Matt Hodgson will lead the Western Force against the Waratahs in one of four changes to the starting XV .

Captain Matt Hodgson will lead the Western Force against the Waratahs in one of four changes to the starting XV to play in Sydney on Sunday.

Hodgson returns to the starting line-up alongside flank Ben McCalman, with the Wallaby pair promoted to the run-on side after coming off the bench against the Cheetahs last weekend.

In the other change to starting pack, Heath Tessmann replaces hooker Nathan Charles, after Charles was ruled out for the remainder of the 2013 season through injury.

Charles underwent a knee reconstruction on Thursday after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against the Cheetahs.

The Western Force backline has also received a reshuffle with Junior Rasolea set to make his Super Rugby starting debut after three appearances from the bench in the opening rounds of the competition.

Rasolea's inclusion on the left wing sees Alfie Mafi shift to fullback in place of Will Tupou. Mafi, who sits equal atop of the competition's leading try-scorers, played 10 matches in the No.15 jersey for the Western Australians in 2012.

The Force bench has undergone several changes with former Brumbies and Waratahs utility Sam Norton-Knight and ex-Hurricanes scrumhalf Chris Eaton set to make their Super Rugby debuts for the Western Force.

Norton-Knight makes his first Super Rugby appearance since 2009 and his first since leaving NSW where he played 49 of his 58 Super Rugby matches.

Eaton, who was recruited as injury cover for Brett Sheehan, previously played 27 Super Rugby matches across two seasons for the Hurricanes in 2011 and 2012.

Reserve hooker Ben Whittaker is also in line to earn his first cap of 2013 after returning from a foot injury while flyhalf Sam Christie and front row forward Kieran Longbottom have been named after representing the Force in their opening two fixtures against the Rebels and Kings.

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says his side will have a renewed focus on being disciplined in possession.

"I've been pleased with the development we've shown over the first five matches of this competition, particularly the character we've displayed as a side," he said.

"We've moved forward in a number of areas, however, last weekend was a reminder that we need to remain focused on achieving the outcomes we want with the ball in hand."

Western Force: 15 Alfie Mafi, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Junior Rasolea, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Ben McCalman, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Chris Alcock, 20 Chris Eaton, 21 Sam Christie, 22 Sam Norton-Knight.

Date: Sunday, March 31
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick off: 16.05 (01.05 WAST; 05.05 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28