Force get big guns back

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 05:46
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Western Force have made several changes to the matchday 23 that take on the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland this Saturday.

Tetera Faulkner comes back into the starting front row replacing Jermiane Ainsley who dislocated his elbow against the Crusaders last week. 

After making his Super Rugby debut last week, Richie Arnold has been given his first start in the second row, while stalwart Matt Hodgson comes into the familiar No.7 jersey.

Inside centre Bill Meakes comes back into the squad in the No.12 jersey, after recovering from an ankle complaint, with Marcel Brache moving to outside centre. Curtis Rona is unavailable for the game after suffering a concussion against the Crusaders. 

Wallaby Dane Haylett-Petty returns to the fullback position and will look to pick up where he left against the Brumbies in Round Three.

On the bench, Anaru Rangi – another product of Perth's local club rugby – is set to play his first match of the season and Australian Under-20s sensation Shambeckler Vui is in-line to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench.

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Chance Peni, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Richie Arnold, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Ben Daley. 
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Richard Hardwick, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Robbie Coleman.

Date: Saturday, April 1
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 17.15 (12.15 AWST; 04.15 GMT)
Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
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Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
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Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
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Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28