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Mitchell names solid Force team

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Emirates Western Force Coach John Mitchell has named his team for Saturday night’s Investec Super 14 Week 9 clash with the Waratahs at Subiaco Oval.


The highly anticipated clash is the first of three Australian ‘derby’ matches for the WA side in its remaining five 2008 regular season games.


Mitchell has stuck solid to the team which overcame the Bulls in dramatic fashion last Friday night, making just one change to his starting XV.


Former Waratahs prop Troy Takiari returns to tighthead prop with AJ Whalley dropping back to the reserves bench.


Takiari will make his third appearance of the season in the number 3 jersey, while inside back Lachlan MacKay makes his return via the reserves bench after withdrawing from last week’s clash with a groin strain.


Elsewhere on the bench, Haig Sare has won selection in the match 22 for the first time in 2008 after serving out an eight-match suspension for his involvement in a pre-season altercation.


The 26 year old utility will wear the number 22 jersey with MacKay named in number 21.


The Emirates Western Force lineup for Saturday’s clash includes six players who have previously played for the Waratahs.


Coach John Mitchell said Australian interstate matches always bring added emotion and pressure.


‘It’s an exciting phase of the competition for us, with three matches against Australian opponents in our last five games,’ said Mitchell.


‘Derby matches are the nearest thing to Test matches at Super 14 level. No matter how hard teams prepare and try to be specific and composed, emotions and pressure will always factor in the game.’


Mitchell expects the Waratahs to be full of confidence heading into the Subiaco Oval clash.


‘The Waratahs played very good attacking football against the Blues in Sydney last week and they have a good mix of youth and experience,’ he said.


Overall head to head: Played 2, Waratahs 1, Drawn 1.


Last met: 2 March 2007, EWF 16 drew with Waratahs 16, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney.


Emirates Western Force v Waratahs


Saturday 12 April, 2008


Subiaco Oval, Perth


Kick off: 7.05pm (9.05pm AEST)


Emirates Western Force


1. Pek Cowan,2. Tai McIsaac,3. Troy Takiari,4. Tom Hockings,5. Nathan Sharpe (c),6. Scott Fava,7. David Pocock,8. Richard Brown,9. Chris O’Young,10. Matt Giteau (vc),11. Drew Mitchell,12. Scott Staniforth,13. Ryan Cross,14. Nick Cummins,15. Cameron Shepherd


Reserves :16. Luke Holmes,17. AJ Whalley,18. Sam Wykes,19. Matt Hodgson,20. James Stannard,21. Lachlan MacKay,22. Haig Sare.


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