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    Force disrupted by injuries for Lions

    2017-04-27 08:36

    Cape Town - The Western Force have made a number of injury-forced changes to their side that will take on the Lions this Saturday.

    Both Pek Cowan and Brynard Stander return to the starting side after impressive performances off the bench last week.

    Former Australian U-20s representative Alex Newsome also returns to the starting XV, replacing the injured Luke Morahan (cheekbone).

    Curtis Rona slips back into the familiar outside centre jersey as Marcel Brache moves to fullback, replacing Wallaby Dane Haylett-Petty (hamstring).

    Exciting Future Force Foundation member James Verity-Amm is set to make his Super Rugby debut on the right wing, becoming the sixth Future Force debutant in club history and the third this season.

    In the reserves, Richard Hardwick and Jono Lance will look to bring plenty of tempo when called upon and former Springbok Peter Grant is set to make his first appearance of the season from the bench.

    Western Force head coach Dave Wessels says the Lions are another exciting challenge for his side and the team will look to bounce back from the match last week.

    “The Lions are obviously a very well balanced side with the ability to mix up their attack. They’ve been together a long time as a team and we’ll need to be at our best if we hope to break them down.”

    Last week’s crowd of 14,089 was one of the largest in Australian Super Rugby this year and Wessels says it’s a testament to the incredible support in Western Australia.

    “It meant so much to us to have so many of the Sea of Blue at nib Stadium last week and we look forward to seeing them again this Saturday.”

    Teams:

    Force

    15 Marcel Brache, 14 James Verity-Amm, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Luke Burton, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Ross Haylett-Petty, 4 Lewis Carmichael, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Pek Cowan

    Substitutes: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Onehunga Havilli, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Peter Grant

    Lions

    TBA

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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