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Alby Mathewson to captain Force against Tonga

Alby Mathewson will captain the Force against a Tongan XV

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Article Published: Wednesday 6 February 2013|

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley has named a 29-man squad to take on a Tongan Select XV in Mandurah on Friday night for their final match of the pre-season with Alby Mathewson as captain.

Scrumhalf Mathewson will captain the side against the Tongan XV, made up of non-Super Rugby-contracted, Tongan eligible players from Australia, New Zealand and Tonga.

The match will be preceded by a curtain-raiser between Force 'A' and Perth Kiwi, featuring players of New Zealand origin competing in the Pindan Premier Grade.

The two sides will play for the Mike Denton Cup, named after New Zealand-born Nedlands, Western Force 'A' and Perth Gold flyhalf, Michael Denton, who tragically died while on holiday in Bali in 2011.

Both the Western Force and Force 'A' squads feature members of the Western Force, its Wider Training Group and local players from the Bankwest Academy.

Coach Michael Foley says the matches provide a final opportunity for players to push their claims for selection for the Force's Super Rugby opener against the Rebels on Friday, 15 February.

"Last week's game was an important one as our first opportunity to play together as a team," he said.

"While our effort was good in the first quarter, we lacked cohesion. However, to the players' credit, they remained composed and became more comfortable together as the game progressed.

"I couldn't be more impressed with the attitude of this playing group. They're living up to the standards they've set and there's a determination within the group to see this team develop and improve."

"The pleasing outcome of last week's match is that we have a genuine contest for positions across the field and Friday's games will go a long way to confirming the side that takes to the field in Melbourne next week."

Friday's match against Tongan Select XV kicks off at 7pm with the curtain-raiser against Perth Kiwi starting at 5.30pm.

2013 Super Rugby - Pre-Season Match

Western Force v Tonga Select XV
Meadow Springs Sporting Ground, Meadow Springs
Friday, 8 February 2013
Kick-off: 7pm

Chris Alcock, Richard Brown, Luke Burton (Bankwest Academy), Nathan Charles, Sam Christie, Adam Coleman (Wider Training Group), Angus Cottrell, Patrick Dellit, Tetera Faulkner, Kyle Godwin, Richard Hardwick (Bankwest Academy), James Hilterbrand, Ollie Hoskins (Bankwest Academy), Brad Lacey (Bankwest Academy), Kieran Longbottom, Ryan Louwrens (Bankwest Academy), Toby Lynn, Alfie Mafi, Salesi Manu, Alby Mathewson (c), Ben Matwijow (Wider Training Group), Locky McCaffrey, Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman, Junior Rasolea, Winston Stanley, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Will Tupou, Sam Wykes.

Force 'A' v Perth Kiwi
Meadow Springs Sporting Ground, Meadow Springs
Friday, 8 February 2013
Kick-off: 5.30pm

Phoenix Battye, Corey Brown (Wider Training Group), Luke Burton (Bankwest Academy), Adam Coleman (Wider Training Group), Sias Ebersohn, Nick Haining (Bankwest Academy), Richard Hardwick (Bankwest Academy), Jayden Hayward, James Hilterbrand, Ryan Hodson (Bankwest Academy), Ollie Hoskins (Bankwest Academy), Ben Jacobs (Wider Training Group), Kane Koteka (Bankwest Academy), Brad Lacey (Bankwest Academy), Ryan Louwrens (Bankwest Academy), Salesi Ma'afu, Salesi Manu, Ben Matwijow (Wider Training Group), Locky McCaffrey (c), Junior Rasolea, Mick Snowden, Heath Tessmann, Rory Walton.

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