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Highlanders

29 - 31

Western Force

  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 15th Mar 2014
  • KO 06:35
  • Ground: Forsyth Barr, Dunedin

Super Rugby: Highlanders v Western Force preview

Last updated: 14th March 2014  

Luke Morahan W Force v Waratahs SR 2014

Luke Morahan: Western Force winger in line to play his 50th Super Rugby match

Kurt Baker New Zealand Dubai Sevens Dec 2012

Kurt Baker: Starts for Highlanders

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Highlanders host Western Force in Dunedin on Saturday looking to bounce back to winning ways.

Jamie Joseph's men had a bye last week and previously ran the Chiefs close in Hamilton after routing the Blues at home in their first match.

Kurt Baker gets his first start of the 2014 Super Rugby season on the left wing for the hosts, who saw winger Buxton Popoalii announce his retirement from all rugby this week aged 24 after recently undergoing surgery to fix a heart valve.

Richard Buckman came in as the replacement squad member for Popoalii and he starts against the Force.

However, Brad Thorn remains out (rib) and winger Patrick Osborne is also sidelined (ankle).

Stunning victory

Opponents Force come into the clash on the back of a stunning victory against the Rebels, where they were 32-0 up after 27 minutes in Perth before the game finished 32-7.

Head coach Michael Foley has named an unchanged squad, with winger Luke Morahan in line to play his 50th Super Rugby match, after joining the Force from Queensland Reds this season.

Foley wants another explosive start, telling the team's official website: "Our focus was to start the match strongly last weekend and it was pleasing to see the team do exactly that.

"Our second half execution wasn't as precise. This week it's important for us to back up with another strong start and look to improve on our execution into the second half."

Highlanders: 15 B Smith, 14 Buckman, 13 Fekitoa, 12 Treeby, 11 Baker, 10 Sopoaga, 9 A Smith, 1 Hames, 2 Coltman, 3 King, 4 Hoeata, 5 Wheeler, 6 Hardie, 7 Christie, 8 Manu.
Replacements: 16 Robinson, 17 Diaz, 18 Millar, 19 Bekhuis, 20 Dixon, 21 Tanaka, 22 Parker, 23 Burleigh.

Western Force: 15 Hayward, 14 Morahan, 13 Rasolea, 12 Godwin, 11 Cummins, 10 Ebersohn, 9 Mathewson, 1 Cowan, 2 Charles, 3 Longbottom, 4 Wykes, 5 Steenkamp, 6 Cottrell, 7 Hodgson, 8 McCalman.
Replacements: 16 Tessmann, 17 Faulkner, 18 Hoskins, 19 Coleman, 20 Stander, 21 Prior, 22 Holmes, 23 Brache.

You can see all the action from Dunedin as the Highlanders take on the Force live on Sky Sports 2HD from 6.35am on Saturday.

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Forthcoming Super Rugby Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super Rugby
Friday 6th March
Super Rugby
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs
15:05Cheetahs vs Bulls
17:10Stormers vs Sharks
Friday 13th March
06:35Hurricanes vs Blues
11:00Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels
Saturday 14th March
03:30Crusaders vs Lions
06:35Highlanders vs Waratahs
08:40Reds vs Brumbies
13:00Stormers vs Chiefs
15:05Cheetahs vs Sharks
Friday 20th March
06:35Highlanders vs Hurricanes
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Lions
Saturday 21st March
06:35Crusaders vs Cheetahs
15:05Bulls vs Western Force
17:10Sharks vs Chiefs
Sunday 22nd March
05:05Waratahs vs Brumbies
Friday 27th March
06:35Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels
09:00Reds vs Lions
Saturday 28th March
05:30Chiefs vs Cheetahs
06:35Highlanders vs Stormers
08:40Waratahs vs Blues
15:05Sharks vs Western Force

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Phil Edwards

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