SUPER RUGBY Preview : Force vs Blues


tables12bThe Force have made a number of changes to the matchday 23 that will host the Blues in Perth on Saturday.

Ben Tapuai comes in for Solomoni Rasolea in the outside centre position in the only change in the starting XV.

Pek Cowan is set to return for the first time since Round Seven, should he come off the bench, after being sidelined due to injury.

The 29-year-old prop, who broke his arm in the 20-19 loss to the Crusaders, replaces Chris Heiberg amongst the replacements.

Castres-bound Steve Mafi makes way for Rory Walton on the bench while South African-born pivot Peter Grant misses out on selection as Luke Burton gets the nod.

Blues head coach Tana Umaga has made three changes to his starting line-up side that will face the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

Only two backline changes and a solo change up front to the side that got hammered 43-5 by the Lions in Johannesburg.

A positional change sees Melani Nanai named at full-back while Matt Duffie comes into the starting fold at right wing, replacing Lolagi Visinia amongst the back three.

Billy Guyton comes in for Bryan Hall at scrum-half and will pair up with playmaker Ihaia West to form the half-back combination.

Hoani Matenga makes way for Josh Bekhuis with the former providing cover for the lock position on bench.

Charlie Faumuina (tighthead prop), captain James Parsons (hooker) and Sam Prattley (loosehead prop) pack down next to each other in the front row.

The Teams:

Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Ian Prior, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (capt), 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 Pek Cowan, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Rory Walton, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Semisi Masirewa

Blues: 15 Melani Nanai 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Billy Guyton, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Sam Prattley
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Hoani Matenga, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 Male Sa’u

Date: Saturday, May 21
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 17:45 local (09:45 GMT)
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Referees: Rohan Hoffmann, Jordan Way
TMO: Peter Marshall




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