Force Wallabies back for final fling

Fri, 12 Jul 2013 07:54
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The Force welcome back their Wallaby contingent of Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman and Nick Cummins when they host the Brumbies.

The Western Force will welcome back their Wallaby contingent of Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman and Nick Cummins when they host the Brumbies in their final game of the Super Rugby season in Perth on Saturday.

McCalman, who featured for the Wallabies in their recent Test series against the British & Irish Lions, will line up in the No.8 jersey alongside captain Matt Hodgson and openside flank Chris Alcock in the back row.

McMeniman returns to the second row having started at blindside flank in the Force's last outing against the Waratahs four weeks ago.

Cummins makes his first appearance for the Western Force since the side's Week 14 clash against the Sharks at nib Stadium. The 25-year-old will start on the right wing forming a back three combination with Jayden Hayward and Patrick Dellit.

James Hilterbrand earns his first Super Rugby start at hooker, replacing Heath Tessmann who has been ruled out with a hand injury, while Junior Rasolea replaces Kyle Godwin at inside centre, with the 20-year-old undergoing shoulder surgery during the June Test break.

Saturday will be the second time the Western Force has played the Brumbies following their 41-7 loss in Canberra in Week 11.

Western Force coach Michael Foley says his side is determined to finish their 2013 campaign on a positive note.

"Saturday represents an exciting challenge, which we've worked hard for over the last three-and-a-half weeks," he said.

"As a team, we've built a solid foundation based on character. Playing for each other and our people at home means a lot to us and we're determined to demonstrate that in our last match of the season.

"We have a great deal of respect for the Brumbies and recognise that playing with an aggressive mindset for 80 minutes is imperative against the Australian Conference leaders."

Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Junior Rasolea, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Matt Hodgson (captain), 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 James Hilterbrand, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Salesi Ma'afu, 18 Toby Lynn, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Sam Norton-Knight, 22 Sam Christie.

Date: Saturday, July 13
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 19.45 WAST (21.45 EAST; 11.45 GMT)
Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26