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Super Rugby preview: Western Force v ACT Brumbies
Super Rugby weekend
Watch the final round of regular season matches on Sky Sports 1 HD and Sky Sports 4 HD on Saturday.
- Crusaders clinch home play-off
- Last-gasp Rebels win thriller
- Chiefs conquer troubled Blues
- Reds seal play-off showdown
- Force rain on Brumbies parade
- Rampant Sharks devour Kings
Western Force welcome home their Wallaby contingent for their final Super Rugby clash of the season against the Brumbies in Perth on Saturday.
Australia trio Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman and Nick Cummins all return to Force colours following their inclusion in the Test series defeat to the British and Irish Lions.
McCalman reclaims the number eight jersey as he lines up alongside captain Matt Hodsgon and Chris Alcock in the back row.
Forward McMeniman returns to his preferred second row position after filling in at blindside flanker prior to the international break while James Hilterbrand makes his Super Rugby bow at hooker.
In the backs, winger Cummins makes his first appearance for the Force since Round 14 in a back three featuring Jayden Hayward and Pat Dellit while Junior Rasolea replaces the injured Kyle Godwin at inside centre.
Brumbies coach Jake White also benefits from the culmination of the Lions tour with seven Australia international named in his match-day 22.
The Canberra-based franchise make use of all their players who featured in last weekend's Test decider but flanker George Smith is the only one to miss out on the starting XV.
White instead rewards 22-year-old Colby Faingaa who has impressed in Smith's absence as the veteran has been in and out of the side with knee injuries.
Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander return to normal duties in the front row where they are joined by fellow Wallabies squad member Scott Sio while Ben Mowen assumes the captaincy once again at number eight.
In the backs, Jesse Mogg reclaims the number 15 berth following an impressive international debut last weekend. The full-back will be joined by Joe Tomane on the left with Christian Leali'ifano back in the Brumbies centres.
Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Junior Rasolea, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Matt Hodgson (capt), 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 James Hilterbrand, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Salesi Ma'afu, 18 Toby Lynn, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Sam Norton-Knight, 22 Sam Christie.
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben Mowen (capt), 7 Colby Faingaa, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements:16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 George Smith, 20 Robbie Coleman, 21 Andrew Smith, 22 Mark Swanepoel.
What they said...
Western Force head coach Michael Foley
"Saturday night represents an exciting challenge, which we've worked hard for over the last three-and-a-half weeks.
"As a team, we've built a solid foundation based on character. Playing for each other and our people at home means a lot to us and we're determined to demonstrate that in our last match of the season.
"We have a great deal of respect for the Brumbies and recognise that playing with an aggressive mindset for 80 minutes is imperative against the Australian Conference leaders."
Brumbies head coach Jake White
"Since I started here the Force has always presented us with a significant challenge and I expect Saturday's match in Perth to be similar.
"They've got nothing to lose, they've got some quality young players and it's so important for us to claim five points on the road to the play-offs. This shapes as a very important week for us.
"It's nice to have the luxury of seven Wallabies back in the team. I was pleased with how the players responded to that many other players being away but I'm sure with so many big-game players returning we can lift another level."
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