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- 20th May 2012
- KO 07:35
Western Force v Rebels: Teams
At nib Stadium, Sunday May 20, kick-off 7.35am, live on Sky Sports 4HD
Western Force have rung the changes has they attempt to halt a five-match losing streak against the Rebels on Sunday.
Following the latest defeat, a 53-11 thrashing by the Sharks, Ben Seymour has moved into the playmaker role in the backline, with David Harvey switching to fullback.
Will Tupou returns from injury and will pair up with Rory Sidey in the centres, while Ben McCalman has recovered from an arm injury to feature at No.8.
Matt Hodgson has slotted back into the blindside flanker role with Richard Brown rested to recover from a knock to the knee, while Nick Cummins will also miss the contest with a quadriceps strain.
Skills and Defence Coach Phil Blake hopes the changes will see an improvement on the disappointing results.
He told the club's official website: "We've moved Dave (Harvey) into fullback because we feel as if he can give us a bit more stability in the back there with his kicking game.
"Seymour's core skills are really suited to the way we want to play and we feel as if it's right to give him a shot at 10 to build his experience in the role."
Blake expects the Force to contest the game from the opening whistle.
"We've tried to bring the backs in over the past three or four weeks, and they've got a lot more carries and they're getting a lot more confidence and what we showed at the back 60 minutes against Melbourne before is that if we can contest in the forwards, get them to set piece and put pressure on there that will hold us in good stead for the result that we're looking for."
The Rebels go into this clash on a high after claiming arguably their best result since their inception last year when they beat the seven-time champions, the Crusaders 28-19 in Melbourne last week.
Their current resurgence has coincided with Kurtley Beale's move to fly-half and he will keep the Force defenders busy throughout this clash.
Another player who could prove a handful for the home side is former Wallabies utility back Mark Gerrard, while up front, stand-in skipper Gareth Delve has come to the fore with his ball-carrying ability, defensive efforts and fine leadership skills.
Western Force squad: 15 David Harvey, 14 Sam Wara, 13 Will Tupou, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Ben Seymour, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock (capt), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Salesi Manu, 17 Elvis Taione, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Lachlan McCaffrey, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Winston Stanley, 22 Alfie Mafi.
Rebels: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Mark Gerrard, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve (capt), 7 Michael Lipman, 6 Tim Davidson, 5 Hugh Pyle, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Jono Owen, 18 Al Campbell, 19 Hugh Perrett, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Stirling Mortlock, 22 James Hilgendorf.
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