Western Force head coach Michael Foley has named a 34-man squad to play Samoa A in their first Super Rugby warm up fixture at Lark Hill Sports Complex in Rockingham on Friday.
Matt Hodgson will lead the side that features both of the club’s Wallaby representatives from last year’s Spring Tour in winger Nick Cummins and No.8 Ben McCalman.
The match will provide the Sea of Blue with their first opportunity to see a number of the Western Force’s new recruits in action, including returning local product Zack Holmes, former Brumbies scrumhalf Ian Prior, Wallabies and Australian Sevens flyer Luke Morahan, Cottesloe scrumhalf Ryan Louwrens, former Northland rake Robbie Abel, and the South African trio of outside back Marcel Brache, back-rower Brynard Stander and lock Wilhelm Steenkamp.
Home-grown prop Ollie Hoskins and the former University of Cape Town pairing of Dillyn Leyds and Dylan Sage, all new members of the Force’s Wider Training Squad, have been named, as has the UWA and RugbyWA Academy duo of Richard Hardwick and Corey Thomas.
The match will also signal the return of Nathan Charles and Kyle Godwin, who both missed the end of the 2013 Super Rugby season due to knee and shoulder surgeries respectively.
Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says the pre-season fixtures continue the team’s climb towards the opening match of the Super Rugby season against the NSW Waratahs in Sydney on Sunday, 23 February.
"This is an important time for the team as we have the opportunity to put four months of training into practice," he said.
"The squad has worked extremely hard throughout this pre-season training block and there is a determination amongst the group to achieve more this year.
"The playing group, under Matt’s leadership, has placed an emphasis on higher standards in all we do, and we’re looking forward to taking the next step in front of our people in Rockingham on Friday night."
Robbie Abel, Chris Alcock, Phoenix Battye, Marcel Brache, Nathan Charles, Angus Cottrell, Pek Cowan, Nick Cummins, Patrick Dellit, Sias Ebersohn, Tetera Faulkner, Kyle Godwin, Richard Hardwick (RugbyWA Academy), Jayden Hayward, Matt Hodgson (c), Zack Holmes, Ollie Hoskins, Dillyn Leyds, Kieran Longbottom, Ryan Louwrens, Alby Mathewson, Ben McCalman, Luke Morahan, Ian Prior, Junior Rasolea, Dylan Sage, Brynard Stander, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Ed Stubbs, Heath Tessmann, Corey Thomas (RugbyWA Academy), Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Rory Walton, Sam Wykes