Force battling with injuries ahead of Lions clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Western Force have made a number of injury-forced changes to their side that take on the Lions on Saturday in Perth.
Both Pek Cowan and Brynard Stander return to the starting side after impressive performances off the bench last week.
Former Australian Under-20s representative Alex Newsome also returns to the starting XV, replacing the injured Luke Morahan (cheekbone). Curtis Rona slips back into the familiar outside centre jersey as Marcel Brache moves to fullback, replacing Wallaby Dane Haylett-Petty (hamstring).
James Verity-Amm is set to make his Super Rugby debut on the right wing, becoming the sixth Future Force debutant in history and the third this season.
In the reserves, Richard Hardwick and Jono Lance will look to bring plenty of tempo when called upon and Springbok Peter Grant is set to make his first appearance of the season from the bench.
Western Force: 15 Marcel Brache, 14 James Verity-Amm, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Luke Burton, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Ross Haylett-Petty, 4 Lewis Carmichael, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Onehunga Havilli, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Peter Grant.
Date: Saturday, April 29
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 19.55 (13.55 SA Time; 11.55 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Amy Perrett (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)