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Force hand Burton SuperRugby debut vs Stormers

Luke Burton in action for the Force in a Super Rugby trial match against Samoa A

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Article Published: Thursday 15 May 2014|

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The Western Force have named Perth-born inside back Luke Burton to make his Super Rugby debut at inside centre against the Stormers in Cape Town at Newlands Stadium on Saturday.

The 20-year-old re-joined the Force squad for their South African tour after being a part of the Australian Under 20's side that defeated Samoa Under 20's, 34-5, late last month.

Burton has been selected in the Australian squad for his second IRB Junior World Championship in June.

Burton replaces Kyle Godwin, who has been ruled out with a knee injury, and will form a new centre pairing with Chris Tuatara-Morrison, who has been promoted to the starting line-up.

"I'm excited to make my Super Rugby debut for the Force and it's something I've dreamt about for a long time," Burton said.

"My family's originally from South Africa too so it's really special to have the chance to play - and make my debut - at a ground like Newlands.

"I'm lucky to be playing behind a forward pack and be part of a backline that has been so consistent this season, and as a younger player coming into the team, I feel confident by having so many experienced players around me.

"The guys have performed really well this season and it's great to have a chance to be able to contribute to that."

Former Stormers outside back Marcel Brache shifts from outside centre to the wing in place of Dane Haylett-Petty, who will miss the match due to a groin injury.

Brache played four seasons with the Western Province Currie Cup side and made his Asteron Life Super Rugby debut for the Stormers against the Lions in 2012.

Brache will link up in the Western Force back three with both of last weekend's try scorers, Nick Cummins and Jayden Hayward, while Ian Prior and Sias Ebersohn will continue their combination in the halves.

The Western Force has named an unchanged forward pack for Saturday's match, while Patrick Dellit comes into the squad in the only change on the bench.

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says it's important that his side finishes the two-match South Africa tour with a strong performance.

"It was great to see the boys pressure the Cheetahs through hard work, and to then capitalise on the chances that came our way," he said.

"The Stormers have been one of the best defensive units in the competition for a number of years. As a consequence, our work on and off the ball will have to be first class on Saturday to get results.

"Saturday is a great opportunity for both Luke and Chris; both are tough competitors and their development through many hours of practice over the past 18 months has earnt them a chance to start."

Western Force

1. Pek Cowan,2. Nathan Charles,3. Kieran Longbottom,4. Sam Wykes,5. Adam Coleman ,6. Angus Cottrell,7. Matt Hodgson (c),8. Ben McCalman,9. Ian Prior,10. Sias Ebersohn,11. Nick Cummins ,12. Luke Burton,13. Chris Tuatara-Morrison,14. Marcel Brache,15. Jayden Hayward

Replacements : 16. Heath Tessmann,17. Tetera Faulkner ,18. Ollie Hoskins,19. Wilhelm Steenkamp,20. Brynard Stander,21. Justin Turner,22. Zack Holmes ,23. Patrick Dellit

 
 
 
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