Argonaut Gold and Emirates Western Force Academy flyhalf Nathan McCort will leave Perth for Johannesburg today to join the Western Force Gold squad before its match against the Golden Lions at the University of Johannesburg tomorrow.
The 25 year old has been called into the squad after a series of injuries in the thrilling and physical clash against a Sharks Invitational team on Wednesday.
Australian U19 flanker David Pocock suffered a medial strain to his left knee, flyhalf Ben Ward injured his left shoulder and winger Dan Bailey damaged neck ligaments. All three have returned to Perth.
Western Force Gold Coach John Mulvihill said the side was in for a tough game against a Lions side that includes star players Wickus van Heerden, Earl Rose, Grant Esterhuizen, Willem Stoltz, Wylie Human and Doppies la Grange.
‘This will be a much tougher game than Wednesday,’ Mulvihill said. ‘The Lions have all of their Super 14 players, except their Springboks, which make them far stronger than the Sharks outfit we played on Wednesday.’
‘The team they have selected won’t change our game plan. We will be playing a fairly simple game, and try to improve the execution of our core skills, an area that let us down at times on Wednesday.’
‘Picking Earl Rose at flyhalf suggests they will play attacking style, which gives an opportunity to get into the game.’
Mulvihill said he was impressed with his troops against the Sharks, and hopes for the same spirited performance on Saturday.
‘The outcome is not hugely important. This is a development tour, and the guys need the time on the park. The boys played with great heart on Wednesday, and that’s something you can’t coach.’
The squad is: 1. David Te Moana 2. Luke Holmes 3. AJ Whalley 4. Elliot Kuhlmann-Hall 5. Matt Windle 6. Luke Doherty (c) 7. Richard Brown 8. Josh Fuimaono 9. Chris O’Young 10. Gavin De Bartolo 11. Brett Stapleton 12. Haig Sare 13. Zander Peden 14. Garth Ziegler 15. Ryan Lenegan 16. Ryan Tyrell 17. David Fitter 18. Kieran Longbottom 19. Tyler Edwards 20. Will Brock 21. Vitori Buatava 22. Brock James 23. Matt Shaw 24. Nathan McCort.
Western Force Gold will finish their tour of South Africa with a game against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Friday 16 June at 3.00pm (SA time). The team will also run a skills clinic in Soweto on Wednesday 14 June.