SUPER RUGBY Preview : Sunwolves vs Force

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Star winger Akihito Yamada will return for the Sunwolves this weekend as they look for a second Super Rugby win.

Yamada is named in the starting XV for Saturday’s game against the Force in Tokyo after recovering from injury, having not played for the side since their game with the Stormers early last month.

Further changes from head coach Mark Hammett see John Stewart handed a start on the wing, while Fa’atiga Lemalu gets the nod in the second row alongside veteran Hitoshi Ono.

Tusi Pisi is partnered by Kaito Shigeno in the half-backs as Shota Horie once again leads the side at hooker.

Western Force head coach Michael Foley has made four changes to the starting XV for the club’s clash with the Sunwolves at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium , with Kyle Godwin to make his first start since Round One.

Godwin returns to the starting team at full fitness after being named on the bench for the last three rounds as he built back to top condition after injuring his knee in Round One against the Melbourne Rebels.

In the other changes to the starting line-up Guy Millar comes into the side at tighthead, Ross Haylett-Petty comes into the second row while Byrnard Stander will start at blindside flanker.

Michael Foley said the side is looking forward to opportunity they have in front of them in Tokyo.

“Obviously there’s always disappointment after a loss, but the team is more motivated than ever to respond this weekend,” he said.

“There’s a sense of excitement about the chance to play in Tokyo and we feel we have an opportunity to pick up some wins towards the back end of the season if we attack each game for the 80 minutes without fear.”

Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 John Stewart, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Fa’atiga Lemalu, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2 Shota Horie (c), 1 Masataka Mikami
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Taiyo Ando, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Mifiposeti Paea

Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Solomoni Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Ian Prior, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Harry Scoble, 1 Francois van Wyk
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Sitiveni Mafi, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Semisi Masirewa

Date: Saturday, May 7
Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 14:15 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: Paul Williams, Aki Aso
TMO: Takashi Hareda


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