Force

Dellit starts for the Force against the Crusaders

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The Western Force have named utility back Patrick Dellit and back-rower Brynard Stander in their starting XV to face the Crusaders at Christchurch’s AMI Stadium on Friday.

Dellit returns to the starting line-up at outside centre to form a new-look centre pairing with Chris Tuatara-Morrison.

Tuatara-Morrison shifts to inside centre to cover the absence of Luke Burton, who is currently on duty with the Australian Under 20’s squad ahead of next month’s IRB Junior World Championship in Auckland.

The match will be Dellit’s first start in the ’13’ jersey since the Western Force’s last encounter against the Crusaders in Christchurch in the final match of 2012.

Stander earns his first opportunity in the run-on side after 10 dynamic performances off the bench in 2014. The 24-year-old back-rower replaces Wallabies No.8 Ben McCalman, who will miss the match due to a groin strain.

The Force bench will also feature two new faces for the match, including local Perth product Ryan Hodson, who is in line to make his debut for the Western Force having already played two Super Rugby matches for the Melbourne Rebels during the 2012 season.

Playmaker Dillyn Leyds, 21, is set to make his first Super Rugby appearance, having joined the Western Force from South Africa’s Western Province for the 2014 season.

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says his side is looking for a strong performance ahead of the three-week Test break.

“Our recent block of matches has been a great challenge for the boys – starting with three strong South African sides and now facing the Crusaders in Christchurch,” he said

“While we’ve shown a lot of character in defence in recent weeks, our decision making with the ball was a feature against the Lions. To win with a bonus point on the back of the SA trip was a good effort, but even more pleasing was the way the boys reviewed their performance with a focus on identifying areas to improve.

“The Crusaders are a benchmark side and our ability to lift for one big effort ahead of the Test window will be crucial to performing well.’

Western Force

1. Pek Cowan,2. Nathan Charles,3. Kieran Longbottom,4. Sam Wykes,5. Wilhelm Steenkamp,6. Brynard Stander,7. Matt Hodgson (c),8. Angus Cottrell,9. Ian Prior,10. Sias Ebersohn,11. Nick Cummins ,12. Chris Tuatara-Morrison,13. Patrick Dellit,14. Dane Haylett-Petty,15. Jayden Hayward

Replacements : 16. Heath Tessmann,17. Francois van Wyk ,18. Ollie Hoskins,19. Adam Coleman ,20. Ryan Hodson,21. Justin Turner,22. Zack Holmes ,23. Dillyn Leyds

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