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Force make four changes for Stormers visit

Luke Morahan has been given the captaincy for this week

Luke Morahan has been given the captaincy for this week

Western Force interim head coach Dave Wessels has named a Super Rugby team with five changes and a new captain for this Saturday’s match against the Stormers.

Pek Cowan has been stripped of the captaincy and Luke Morahan has been appointed for this week’s match at the ‘Force Field’, nib Stadium.

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Cowan and Dane Haylett-Petty were deemed to have breached the club’s leadership standards while on tour in South Africa so Morahan leads the side on the wing.

Also in the backline Ben Tapuai returning to the side at outside centre, while local product Richard Hardwick has been named for his first run on start.

In the other changes to the side Guy Millar comes into the starting lineup at tighthead for Tetera Faulkner who suffered an achilles tendon injury against the Cheetahs last week, Ryan Louwrens gets the nod at starting scrumhalf and Jermaine Ainsley comes onto the bench.

Interim Head Coach Dave Wessels said the team is determined to put their best foot forward for the club’s final home game of the season.

“As a team we are really focused on putting everything into these last 160-minutes of the season,” he said.

“We were disappointed not to win in Bloemfontein but felt – particularly in the second half – that we played some good attacking rugby.”

“The Stormers are a quality side – with a strong set piece – and are trying to lock in a home final. We know they will come out really hard but we are focusing on what we can do to improve on the good things we did in South Africa and finishing strong for the ‘Sea of Blue’.”

Up front Cowan will start at loosehead with Harry Scoble named at hooker and Millar to make his sixth start of the season at tighthead.

In the second row Ross Haylett-Petty and Rory Walton will look to build on their strong performances from last week with the battle up front sure to be key to the final result against a powerful Stormers pack.

In the only change to the backrow UWA product Richard Hardwick is set to start at blindside flanker in the first run on start of his young career with openside Chris Alcock and No.8 Angus Cottrell rounding out the starting forward pack.

In the halves Ryan Louwrens will look to spark the attack by providing quick ball to flyhalf Jono Lance who returns to the ‘Force Field’ for the first time since Round Three.

In the midfield, inside centre Kyle Godwin was in fine form last week and will be keen to roll that form into Saturday night’s clash when he links up with Ben Tapuai in the No.13 jersey.

The ever consistent back three of Luke Morahan, Marcel Brache and Dane Haylett-Petty complete the starting XV.

Coming off the bench, Brynard Stander, Ian Prior and Peter Grant aim to make their presence felt when called upon while fleet footed winger Semisi Masirewa completes the match day 23.

Western Force

1. Pek Cowan , 2. Harry Scoble , 3. Guy Millar , 4. Ross Haylett-Petty , 5. Rory Walton , 6. Richard Hardwick , 7. Chris Alcock , 8. Angus Cottrell , 9. Ryan Louwrens , 10. Jono Lance , 11. Luke Morahan (C) , 12. Kyle Godwin , 13. Ben Tapuai , 14. Marcel Brache , 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Anaru Rangi , 17. Francois Van Wyk , 18. Jermaine Ainsley , 19. Matt Philip , 20. Byrnard Stander , 21. Ian Prior , 22. Peter Grant , 23. Semisi Masirewa

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