Super Rugby

Force ring the changes for Crusaders


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Western Force Super Rugby head coach Dave Wessels has named a team with several changes for Friday’s match against the Crusaders at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

In the front row Ben Daley comes back into the starting loosehead position, with Pek Cowan moving to the bench, Wallaby hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau earns his first start and excitement machine Isireli Naisarani is set to make his run-on Super Rugby debut at blindside flanker.

Tighthead Jermaine Ainsley also returns to the starting XV.

Experienced utility back Marcel Brache makes his first appearance of the season at inside centre. Luke Morahan shifts to fullback with young outside back Alex Newsome named on the right wing for his maiden start.

Flyhalf Jono Lance has been named to captain the Western Force for the first time and becomes the 11th player to skipper the West Australian side.

Club legend Matt Hodgson will make his return from a hamstring injury off the bench while 208cm lock Richie Arnold (twin brother of Wallabies lock Rory) is in line for his long awaited debut.

Head Coach Dave Wessels says that the match against the Crusaders is an exciting opportunity for his team to win away from home against a challenging opposition.

“Playing New Zealand teams in New Zealand is the ultimate test of our progress over the last few months. There’s great energy in the group and we’re looking forward to Friday night.”

Western Force

Ben Daley , Tatafu Polota-Nau , Jermaine Ainsley , Ross Haylett-Petty , Matt Philip , Isi Naisarani , Kane Koteka , Richard Hardwick , Ryan Louwrens , Jono Lance (C) , Chance Peni , Marcel Brache , Curtis Rona , Alex Newsome , Luke Morahan

Replacements : Heath Tessmann , Pek Cowan , Tetera Faulkner , Richie Arnold* , Matt Hodgson , Michael Ruru , Ian Prior , Robbie Coleman

*Denotes possible Super Rugby Debut

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