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Western Force

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Waratahs

  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 9th Jun 2013
  • KO 07:05
  • Ground: nib Stadium

Super Rugby match preview: Western Force v Waratahs

Last updated: 8th June 2013  

Michael Cheika Waratahs coach SR 2013

Challenging times for Waratahs coach Michael Cheika who has 13 key players unavailable

Hugh McMeniman for Western Force

Hugh McMeniman returns to the Force starting XV after a nine-week injury lay-off

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Western Force have made three changes to their squad ahead of Sunday's Super Rugby clash with rivals Waratahs in Perth.

Forward Hugh McMeniman makes his long-awaited return after nine weeks on the sidelines having fractured his shoulder against the Melbourne Rebels in Round Eight.

The 29-year-old starts at blindside flanker alongside second row Rory Walton who makes his first start in Force colours, while Pek Cowan assumes the captaincy once again with Matt Hodgson reduced to the bench.

Force coach Michael Foley is without regular No 8 Ben McCalman who was called into the Wallabies squad for the British and Irish Lions Test series, paving the way for Angus Cottrell to return to the starting XV.

Foley retains the same backline which saw his side to victory against the Highlanders with the lone exception being Junior Rasolea, who earns the opportunity to stake his claim in the absence of Wallaby squad member Nick Cummins.

Depleted

Meanwhile the Waratahs are left with a depleted squad after 10 players left the camp on international duty.

With Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu, Rob Horne, Berrick Barnes, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Israel Folau all unavailable coach Michael Cheika has been forced to make wholesale changes.

Waratahs lock Sitaleki Timani remains sidelined with injury leaving Cheika with limited resources heading into a must-win encounter if the New South Wales outfit are to qualify for the Super Rugby play-offs.

In the absence of club captain Dennis, Pat McCutcheon was set to lead the side before being forced to withdraw on Saturday after sustaining a knee injury in training.

Cheika has made an attempt to bolster his squad via the additions of Parramatta lock Adam Coleman, Northern Districts' flanker AJ Gilbert and Randwick duo Richard Aho and Terrence Hepetema.

Western Force:15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Junior Rasolea, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Hugh McMeniman, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Rory Walton, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Pek Cowan (capt).
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Salesi Ma'afu, 18 Toby Lynn, 19 Matt Hodgson, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Ed Stubbs, 22 Sam Norton-Knight.

Waratahs: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Tom Kingston, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Cam Crawford, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 AJ Gilbert, 6 Lopeti Timani 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Jeremy Tilse.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Richard Aho, 18 Adam Coleman, 19 Liam Winton, 20 Matt Lucas, 21 Ben Volavola, 22 Terrence Hepetema.

What they said...

Western Force head coach Michael Foley

"This week has been a big week for the squad and the organisation and we're looking to finish it well against the Waratahs tomorrow.

"We've continued take big steps as a team this season and it's important that we put together a strong performance leading into the mid-year break."

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06:35Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels
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Saturday 14th February
06:35Blues vs Chiefs
15:05Sharks vs Cheetahs
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Sunday 15th February
06:05Waratahs vs Western Force
Friday 20th February
06:35Chiefs vs Brumbies
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs
17:10Bulls vs Hurricanes
Saturday 21st February
06:35Highlanders vs Crusaders
08:40Reds vs Western Force
15:05Stormers vs Blues
17:10Sharks vs Lions
Friday 27th February
06:35Highlanders vs Reds
11:00Western Force vs Hurricanes
17:10Cheetahs vs Blues
Saturday 28th February
06:35Chiefs vs Crusaders
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies
15:05Bulls vs Sharks
17:10Lions vs Stormers
Friday 6th March
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs

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