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Force make six changes for table topping Brumbies

Henry Taefu of Western Force is tackled during the round 4 Super Rugby AU match between the Western Force

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 25: Henry Taefu of Western Force is tackled during the round 4 Super Rugby AU match between the Western Force and the Brumbies at Leichhardt Oval on July 25, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Centre Henry Taefu and utility back Marcel Brache will make their return to the starting line-up when the Western Force takes on the table-topping Brumbies in Round 9 at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Friday.

The changes are amongst six to the squad that faced the Reds in Queensland last week.

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Taefu, who was on the bench last week and previously started for the Force in the first Super Rugby AU clash with the Brumbies a month ago, replaces New Zealand veteran Richard Kahui who moves to the bench.

The Samoan national representative has performed consistently all season and will play an important role in getting the Force on the front foot whilst also providing solid defensive cover which will be crucial against the league leaders.

The versatile Brache, who featured as a centre in the previous clash with the Brumbies and last started on the left wing against the Rebels at the end of July, makes his return on the right wing in place of Byron Ralston.

In another change amongst the backs, Jack McGregor is restored to his more familiar role at fullback after featuring at flyhalf against the Reds last week. He replaces Jack Strachan who moves to the bench, with veteran Jono Lance back in the run-on fifteen at number 10 after playing off the bench last week.

Coach Tim Sampson has kept faith with the bulk of the forward pack that performed admirably against the Reds, with just one change made in the back row. Henry Stowers returns to the side after missing the Reds match and Brynard Stander, who has been prominent in all six Force matches to date, moves to the bench in place of Ollie Callan.

There are two changes amongst the reserves, as hooker Feleti Kaitu’u replaces veteran Heath Tessmann, and promising young flanker Tevin Ferris will make an eagerly-awaited return from injury, replacing Johan Bardoul in the matchday 23.

Western Force

15 Jack McGregor, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior (c), 8 Henry Stowers, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Andrew Ready 1 Pek Cowan

Replacements: 16 Feleti Kaitu’u, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tom Sheminant, 19 Tevin Ferris, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Richard Kahui, 23 Jake Strachan

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