Experienced flanker Luke Doherty will lead a youthful Western Force Gold side on their two week, three match tour of South Africa in June.
Doherty is one of eighteen Emirates Western Force senior squad members in the 26-man touring party, with six Emirates Western Force Academy players also included.
Tyler Edwards (Rockingham) and Elliot Kuhlman-Hall (Wests Subiaco) have come into the squad from the Home Building Society Competition.
Tim Davidson and Brock James will be Doherty’s deputies. The squad also includes Wallaby prop David Fitter and Australian U19 representatives David Pocock and Brett Stapleton.
Western Force Gold coach John Mulvihill said the tour would provideEmirates Western Force senior squad and Academy members with exposure to quality football and provide valuable experience.
‘The squad we have selected is full of talent, and this tour will give the guys from both the senior squad and those outside professional ranks the opportunity to prove themselves and develop their rugby,’ Mulvihill said.
‘South Africa is a tough place to tour, and we expect that the character of the guys will shine though. It will provide the necessary tough rugby that this group needs in this phase.’
The post-Tooheys New Super 14 team will be known as the Western Force Gold, and will represent the State, playing in the traditional black and gold colours of WA.
The squad is: Dan Bailey*, Richard Brown, Vitori Buatava, Tim Davidson (vc), Luke Doherty (c), James Dougall*, Gavin DeBartolo, Tyler Edwards^, David Fitter, Josh Fuimaono, Luke Holmes, Brock James (vc), Elliot Kuhlman-Hall^, Ryan Lenegan*, Kieran Longbottom*, Chris O’Young, David Pocock, Zander Peden, Matt Shaw*, Haig Sare, Brett Stapleton, David Te Moana, Ryan Tyrell*, Ben Ward, Matt Windle, AJ Whalley.
* – Emirates Western Force Academy member.
^ – Selected from WA club rugby (Edwards is also an Argonaut Gold squad member).
Wednesday 7 June ‘ Western Force Gold vs Wildebeests (Durban)
Saturday 10 June ‘ Western Force Gold vs Golden Lions (Johannesburg)
Wednesday 14 June ‘ Skills clinic in Soweto
Friday 16 June ‘ Western Force Gold vs Blue Bulls (Pretoria)