Rookie centre to face Stormers

Thu, 15 May 2014 08:16
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Perth-born inside back Luke Burton will make his Super Rugby debut at inside centre when the Western Force take on the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.

Perth-born inside back Luke Burton will make his Super Rugby debut at inside centre when the Western Force take on the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.

The 20-year-old re-joined the Force squad for their South African tour after being a part of the Australian Under-20s side that defeated Samoa U20s, 34-5, late last month. Burton has been selected in the Australian squad for his second IRB Junior World Championship in June.

Burton replaces Kyle Godwin, who has been ruled out with a knee injury, and will form a new centre pairing with Chris Tuatara-Morrison, who has been promoted to the starting line-up.

Former Stormers outside back Marcel Brache shifts from outside centre to the wing in place of Dane Haylett-Petty, who will miss the match due to a groin injury. Brache played four seasons with the Western Province Currie Cup side and made his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers against the Lions in 2012.

Brache will link up in the Western Force back three with both of last weekend's try scorers, Nick Cummins and Jayden Hayward, while Ian Prior and Sias Ebersohn will continue their halfback combination.

Coach Michael Foley has named an unchanged forward pack for Saturday's match, while Patrick Dellit comes into the squad in the only change on the bench.

Foley says it's important that his side finishes the two-match South Africa tour with a strong performance.

"It was great to see the boys pressure the Cheetahs through hard work, and to then capitalise on the chances that came our way," he said.

"The Stormers have been one of the best defensive units in the competition for a number of years. As a consequence, our work on and off the ball will have to be first class on Saturday to get results.

"Saturday is a great opportunity for both Luke and Chris; both are tough competitors and their development through many hours of practice over the past 18 months has earnt them a chance to start," he added.

Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 12 Luke Burton, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes, 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 Patrick Dellit.

Date: Saturday, May 17
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT; 23.05 AWST)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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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