Star league convert starts for Force
Cape Town - Rugby League convert Curtis Rona will start at outside centre for the Force against the Waratahs at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
The match day 23 features a host of new faces with up to eight
players set to run out in the Western Force colours for the first time
and six men a chance of earning their maiden Super Rugby cap.
Among the Force men set to enter the Super Rugby arena for the first
time are the exciting backline trio of Bill Meakes and Curtis Rona who
will partner in the centres and exciting wing Chance Peni.
Big name recruit Tatafu Polota-Nau will make his maiden Force
appearance off the bench as he faces his former side for the first time.
In the front row, co-captain Heath Tessmann will lead the side as he
links up with veteran loosehead Pek Cowan and young gun tighthead
In the second row, Wallaby Adam Coleman makes his return from a knee
injury suffered on the Spring Tour as he looks to reawaken the strong
partnership he formed with Ross Haylett-Petty last season.
Rounding out the starting forward pack, Brynard Stander and Kane
Koteka will bring physicality and breakdown intensity when they run out
at blindside and openside respectively while Richard Hardwick will wear
the No 8 jersey.
Dynamic scrumhalf Ryan Louwrens will facilitate the Force backline
as he looks to provide quality service to Jono Lance who will be raring
to go after a strong pre-season campaign.
Former Gloucester centre Bill Meakes and Rona will link up at inside and outside centre, with Meakes’ power
running and brilliant ball skills along with Rona’s natural attacking
instincts set to cause plenty of excitement.
There will be no shortage of pace and finishing ability in the back
three with new recruit Peni and Luke Morahan to man the wings and
the newly re-signed Dane Haylett-Petty to control the game from
In the reserves, the old heads of Polota-Nau and Ben Daley will look
to make their impact felt when they run out for the first time in Force
colours, while Isireli Naisarani, Michael Ruru and Alex Newsome will be
ready to do their job on debut if called upon.
15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece
Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard
Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6
Jack Dempsey, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1
Substitutes (one to be omitted): 16 Hugh Roach, 17
Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 Ned Hanigan, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Matt
Lucas, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 24 David Horwitz
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan,
13 Curtis Rona, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ryan
Louwrens, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam
Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Heath Tessmann (captain),
1 Pek Cowan
Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau 17 Ben Daley 18
Tetera Faulkner 19 Matt Philip 20 Isireli Naisarani 21 Michael Ruru 22
Ian Prior 23 Alex Newsome