Sidelined by a back injury for the whole of the Tooheys New Super 14 season, Zander Peden will represent the Western Force for the first time when the team plays a Sharks Invitational XV on Wednesday night.
The 20 year old centre is one of 13 Emirates Western Force squad members selected in the Western Force Gold starting 15, which will play a Dick Muir-coached side consisting of a large number of Sharks players and former Springbok, Solly Tyibilika.
The clash between the two teams, at Woodburn Stadium in Pietermaritzburg, is reportedly a sell-out with more than 8,000 people expected to attend.
Western Force Gold coach John Mulvihill said Perth club footballers Dan Bailey, of Nedlands, and Tyler Edwards, of Rockingham ‘ both members of Argonaut Gold ‘ deserved their starting positions in the first game of the team’s three-match tour.
‘This tour is a great opportunity for us to find out about some of the club, Academy and Argonaut Gold players and Dan and Tyler are the first cabs off the rank,’ he said.
‘There’s probably a little nervousness there but they are good players and are ready for the opportunity.’
Meanwhile, Nedlands wing/centre Garth Ziegler will fly to Johannesburg to join the squad on Thursday after Academy and Argonaut Gold representative James Dougal withdrew from the tour for personal reasons.
Western Force Gold’s next game is against the Golden Lions on Saturday 10 June. The match was originally scheduled for kick-off at 3pm (SA time) at Ellis Park, Johannesburg. It will now start at 1pm (SA time) and be played at the University of Johannesburg.
The squad is:
1. David Te Moana 2. Luke Holmes 3. David Fitter 4. Tyler Edwards 5. Matt Windle 6. Luke Doherty (c) 7. David Pocock 8. Richard Brown 9. Chris O’Young 10. Brock James (vc) 11. Brett Stapleton 12. Haig Sare 13. Zander Peden 14. Dan Bailey 15. Gavin DeBartolo 16. Ryan Tyrell 17. Kieran Longbottom 18. AJ Whalley 19. Elliot Kuhlmann-Hall 20. Josh Fuimaono 21. Will Brock 22. Vitori Buatava 23. Matt Shaw