WALLABIES TRIO BACK FOR FORCE TO FACE BRUMBIES
The Emirates Western Force will welcome back their Wallaby contingent of Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman and Nick Cummins when they host the Brumbies in their final game of the 2013 Super Rugby season at nib Stadium on Saturday evening.
McCalman, who featured for the Wallabies in their recent Test series against the British & Irish Lions, will line up in the No. 8 jersey alongside captain Matt Hodgson and openside flanker Chris Alcock in the back row.
McMeniman returns to the second row having started at blindside flanker in the Force’s last outing against the Waratahs four weeks ago.
Cummins makes his first appearance for the Emirates Western Force since the side’s Week 14 clash against the Sharks at nib Stadium. The 25-year-old will start on the right wing forming a back three combination with Jayden Hayward and Patrick Dellit.
James Hilterbrand earns his first Super Rugby start at hooker, replacing Heath Tessmann who has been ruled out with a hand injury, while Junior Rasolea replaces Kyle Godwin at inside centre, with the 20-year-old undergoing shoulder surgery during the June Test break.
Saturday night will be the second time the Emirates Western Force has played the Brumbies following their 41-7 loss in Canberra in Week 11.
Emirates Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says his side is determined to finish their 2013 campaign on a positive note.
“Saturday night represents an exciting challenge, which we’ve worked hard for over the last three-and-a-half weeks,” he said.
“As a team, we’ve built a solid foundation based on character. Playing for each other and our people at home means a lot to us and we’re determined to demonstrate that in our last match of the season.
“We have a great deal of respect for the Brumbies and recognise that playing with an aggressive mindset for 80 minutes is imperative against the Australian Conference leaders.”
Western Force Team: 1. Pek Cowan, 2. James Hilterbrand, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 4. Sam Wykes, 5. Hugh McMeniman, 6. Matt Hodgson (c), 7. Chris Alcock, 8. Ben McCalman, 9. Alby Mathewson , 10. Sias Ebersohn, 11. Nick Cummins, 12. Junior Rasolea, 13. Ben Jacobs , 14. Patrick Dellit , 15. Jayden Hayward. Reserves: 16. Ben Whittaker, 17. Salesi Ma’afu, 18. Toby Lynn, 19. Richard Brown, 20. Brett Sheehan, 21. Sam Norton-Knight, 22. Sam Christie