Wykes Forces Steenkamp onto bench
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:32
Longbottom the first WA born-and-raised player to play 50 matches
Sam Wykes is back from injury and will start at lock when the Force face the Bulls in their Super Rugby Round 11 clash in Perth on Saturday.
Wykes has recovered from a rib injury and returns to the starting pack to take up the number five jersey, instead of the filling the number four shirt that was his before his injury.
Adam Coleman, who put in a good performance in his starting debut for the Force against the Melbourne Rebels last weekend, keeps the number four spot.
This means that, despite putting in a string of impressive performances in recent weeks, former Bulls player Wilhelm Steenkamp will have to wait a bit longer before he gets a chance to face up to his former teammates and will provide cover from the bench.
Steenkamp played 36 Super Rugby games for the Bulls during two spells with the Pretoria-based side from 2007 to 2009 and then again from 2012 to last year, before moving to Perth.
Fullback Jayden Hayward also returns to the side after missing the last two games for personal reasons after his last action in a Force shirt was scoring the match-winning try in their 32-29 triumph over the Reds in Brisbane on April 5.
As a result, last week's fullback Dane Haylett-Petty shifts to the right wing and Patrick Dellit drops out of the matchday 23.
The rest of the backline remains unchanged as former Western Province player Marcel Brache starts in the outside centre position and he continues to forge a midfield combination with exciting inside centre Kyle Godwin.
Prop Kieran Longbottom will become the first Western Australian born-and-raised player to play 50 Super Rugby matches for the Western Force when he takes to the field on Saturday.
Longbottom was a member of the inaugural RugbyWA Academy program in 2006 and went on to make his Super Rugby debut against the Chiefs in Perth in 2008.
The 28-year-old has started at tighthead in all eight matches for the Western Force in 2014.
Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Chris Tuatara-Morrison.
Date: Saturday, April 25
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 17.40 (09.40 GMT, 11.40 SAST)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia) , Matt O'Brien (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)
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