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New look Western Force to face Brumbies in Darwin

Matt Hodgson will captain the Western Force in 2013

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Article Published: Tuesday 29 January 2013|

The Western Force have named a 31-man squad for their first Super Rugby trial match match against the Brumbies on Friday with thirteen players set to make their debut for the franchise in Darwin.

The Western Australian province will run out an overhauled backline that includes former All Black Alby Mathewson, ex-'Baby Bok' Sias Ebersohn, Waikato pivot Sam Christie, the Australian Sevens pair of Junior Rasolea and Ed Stubbs, former Hurricanes midfielder Jayden Hayward and Shute Shield stars Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Mick Snowden and Corey Brown.

Captain Matt Hodgson will lead out a familiar Force forward pack featuring six Wallaby representatives, including off-season recruit Hugh McMeniman. The forward pack also includes former Waratahs flanker Chris Alcock, NSW Country representative Rory Walton and ex-Melbourne Rebels rake Heath Tessmann.

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says the Friday's match is another key step in relaunching the side when they contest the "Territories Cup".

"This match is important as it gives us a clear starting point from which to begin building towards our season," he said.

"I've been really impressed with the way our guys have approached the pre-season and maintained their standards throughout. We've introduced and worked on a new brand of Force rugby, the guys have completely bought into that, and Friday provides a first opportunity to test ourselves against a Super Rugby opposition.

"The influx of players we've had for this season has been well documented and this match provides a chance for this new squad to come together and play alongside one another for the first time.

"It's important that we use these trials to build towards our first match of the season against the Rebels, and continue to build and develop beyond that as the season progresses.

"This pre-season's been extremely productive for us and after four months of training and these players are hungry for their opportunity."

The Western Force will fly out for Darwin on Thursday.

Western Force 31-man squad:

Chris Alcock*, Phoenix Battye, Corey Brown (Wider Training Group)*, Richard Brown, Nathan Charles, Sam Christie*, Angus Cottrell, Pek Cowan, Patrick Dellit, Sias Ebersohn*, Tetera Faulkner, Kyle Godwin, Jayden Hayward*, Matt Hodgson (c), Kieran Longbottom, Toby Lynn, Salesi Ma'afu, Alfie Mafi, Alby Mathewson*, Locky McCaffrey, Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman*, Junior Rasolea*, Mick Snowden*, Winston Stanley, Ed Stubbs*, Heath Tessmann*, Chris Tuatara-Morrison*, Will Tupou, Rory Walton*, Sam Wykes.

*denotes first appearance for Western Force

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