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Force start Tapuai against the Blues

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Western Force head coach has named a Super Rugby team with three changes for this weekend’s clash against the Blues at the ‘Force Field’ in Perth on Saturday.

In the only change to the run-on side Ben Tapuai returns at outside centre after a two week absence while loosehead prop Pek Cowan will come off the bench after recovering from a broken arm along with young gun Luke Burton who will look to make his first appearance of the season following a foot injury.

Head Coach Michael Foley says the team is well rested following the bye and looking to carry their form from Tokyo back to nib Stadium on Saturday night.

“We used the first days of the bye week to recover and the back end of the week to reinforce some of the positives from the Sunwolves match” he said.

“In Tokyo, we played the type of rugby we’ve been working towards. The biggest difference came as a result of us focusing on enjoying the game and attacking every contest without fear.”

“Without doubt, there have been times where our disappointment as a result of not getting things “right” has held us back, but I believe the boys now have not only a clear picture of the type of game we’re chasing, but also the attitude that allows us to enjoy games while we continue to improve.”

After a strong all round performance in Round 11 the tight five remains unchanged with Francois van Wyk and Guy Millar to link up with young rake Harry Scoble in the front row, while Ross Haylett-Petty and Adam Coleman will pack down in the second row.

The powerful backrow of Brynard Stander, Matt Hodgson and Ben McCalman complete the starting pack and will look to bring the same intensity at the breakdown that they displayed before the bye.

In the halves Alby Mathewson will again look to provide Ian Prior with top quality service with Prior again named in the No.10 jersey after a strong showing in his last two outings.

In the midfield, inside centre Kyle Godwin will link up with Ben Tapuai in the starting XV for the first time since the opening round of the season. Godwin put in his strongest performance of the season to date against the Sunwolves setting up two tries and will look for more of the same this weekend.

The back three remains unchanged with Luke Morahan and Marcel Brache named on the left and right wings respectively while Dane Haylett-Petty will look to continue his impressive form as he rounds out the starting side at fullback.

Coming off the bench, Pek Cowan and Luke Burton will be keen to make their impact felt when called upon in their return from injury. While the Force will look to get plenty of production from the likes of Tetera Faulkner, Angus Cottrell and Ryan Louwrens in what is sure to be a bruising battle.

Western Force

1 Francois Van Wyk , 2 Harry Scoble , 3 Guy Millar , 4 Ross Haylett-Petty , 5 Adam Coleman , 6 Brynard Stander , 7 Matt Hodgson (c) , 8 Ben McCalman , 9 Alby Mathewson , 10 Ian Prior , 11 Luke Morahan , 12 Kyle Godwin , 13 Ben Tapuai , 14 Marcel Brache , 15 Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Anaru Rangi , 17. Pek Cowan , 18. Tetera Faulkner , 19. Rory Walton , 20. Angus Cottrell , 21. Ryan Louwrens , 22. Luke Burton , 23. Semisi Masirewa

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