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)

Crusaders vs Force
sast: 08h35 | local: 19h35

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Fri, 24 March 2017
Rebels v Waratahs 08h45 Melbourne
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
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Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
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Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
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NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 10
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 3 1 0 2 5
Waratahs 4 1 0 3 4
Rebels 3 0 0 3 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Crusaders 4 4 0 0 16
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Highlanders 4 1 0 3 5
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 3 3 0 0 13
Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 9
Bulls 3 1 0 2 5
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 4 3 0 1 14
Lions 4 3 0 1 14
Sharks 4 3 0 1 13
Kings 4 1 0 3 5