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McMeniman returns for the Force against Waratahs

Hugh McMeniman has recovered from a shoulder injury

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Article Published: Saturday 8 June 2013|

The Western Force have named lock/back-rower Hugh McMeniman to make his return from a shoulder injury in the team to play the Waratahs at nib Stadium on Sunday.

McMeniman suffered a fracture in his shoulder during the side's Week Eight clash against the Melbourne Rebels in Perth with Sunday's match marking his first match in nine weeks.

The 29-year-old will make his comeback at blindside flanker as part of a revamped Western Australian forward pack that features lock Rory Walton's run-on debut and Angus Cottrell's return to the starting side at No.8. Cottrell replaces Ben McCalman, who was called into the Wallabies squad for the Test series against the British & Irish Lions.

Loosehead prop Pek Cowan will again assume the captaincy of the side, with Matt Hodgson starting off the bench after leading the side against the British & Irish Lions on Wednesday night.

Sunday's match will be the fourth time Cowan has led the side having previously skippered against the Rebels in Melbourne, Reds in Brisbane and the Cheetahs in Perth this season.

The Force has retained the same backline that helped defeat the Highlanders, 19-18, in their last Super Rugby outing, with the exception of Junior Rasolea, who earns his opportunity on the wing in place of Wallaby squad member, Nick Cummins.

The Western Force bench features seven members of the starting XV from Wednesday night's match against the British & Irish Lions.

"This week has been a big week for the squad and the organisation and we're looking to finish it well against NSW tomorrow," Head Coach Michael Foley said.

"We've continued take big steps as a team this season and it's important that we put together a strong performance leading into the mid-year break.

"We were pleased with our ability to hold a dangerous Highlanders try-less and that will again need to be a feature of our performance against a strong Waratahs outfit.

"It's great to have Hugh back, who has made such a big contribution to this side this season, and it's a much deserved opportunity for Rory Walton, who receives his first start in the run-on side after seven consistent performances off the bench."

Western Force

1. Pek Cowan (c),2. Heath Tessmann,3. Kieran Longbottom,4. Rory Walton ,5. Sam Wykes,6. Hugh McMeniman,7. Chris Alcock,8. Angus Cottrell ,9. Alby Mathewson ,10. Sias Ebersohn,11. Junior Rasolea,12. Kyle Godwin,13. Ben Jacobs ,14. Patrick Dellit ,15. Jayden Hayward

Replacements : 16. James Hilterbrand,17. Salesi Ma'afu,18. Toby Lynn,19. Matt Hodgson ,20. Brett Sheehan,21. Ed Stubbs,22. Sam Norton-Knight

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