Polota-Nau on Force bench

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 06:37
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Western Force's matchday 23 for their clash against the Waratahs features a host of new faces with up to eight players set to run out in the Western Force colours for the first time.

On top of that, six players will have a chance of earning their maiden Super Rugby cap.
 
Among the Force men set to enter the Super Rugby arena for the first time are the exciting backline trio of Bill Meakes and Curtis Rona who will partner in the centres and excitement machine Chance Peni.
 
Big name recruit Tatafu Polota-Nau will make his maiden Force appearance off the bench as he faces his former side for the first time.
 
In the front row, co-captain Heath Tessmann will lead the side as he links up with veteran loosehead Pek Cowan and young gun tighthead Jermaine Ainsley.
 
In the second row, Wallaby Adam Coleman makes his return from a knee injury suffered on the November Tour as he looks to reawaken the strong partnership he formed with Ross Haylett-Petty last season.
 
Rounding out the starting forward pack, Brynard Stander and Kane Koteka will bring incredible physicality and breakdown intensity when they run out at blindside and openside respectively while Richard Hardwick will wear the No.8 jersey.
 
Dynamic scrumhalf Ryan Louwrens will facilitate the Force backline as he looks to provide quality service to Jono Lance who will be raring to go after a strong pre-season campaign.
 
Former Gloucester centre Bill Meakes and rugby league convert Curtis Rona will link up at inside and outside centre, with Meakes' power running and brilliant ball skills along with Rona's natural attacking instincts set to cause plenty of excitement.
 
There will be no shortage of pace and finishing ability in the back three with new recruit Chance Peni and Luke Morahan to man the wings and the newly re-signed Dane Haylett-Petty to control the game from fullback.
 
In the reserves, the old heads of Polota-Nau and Ben Daley will look to make their impact felt when they run out for the first time in Force colours, while Isireli Naisarani, Michael Ruru and Alex Newsome will be ready to do their job on debut if called upon.
 
Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Heath Tessmann (captain), 1 Pek Cowan. 
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Isireli Naisarani, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Alex Newsome.

Date: Saturday, February 25
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.45 (16.45 AWST; 08.45 GMT)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

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Fri, 25 August 2017
Pumas v Blue Bulls 17h00 Nelspruit
Sat, 26 August 2017
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Dunedin
Western Province v Sharks 13h00 Newlands
Free State Cheetahs v Golden Lions 15h15 Bloemfontein
Argentina v South Africa 17h30 Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium
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