Force recall Hodgson and McCalman
March 30, 2013
Western Force captain Matt Hodgson returns to the starting side © Getty Images
Western Force coach Michael Foley has made four changes to his starting side to face New South Wales Waratahs at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with Wallabies backrowers Matt Hodgson and Ben McCalman promoted to the run-on side after coming off the bench against the Cheetahs last weekend.
Heath Tessmann, meanwhile, replaces Nathan Charles after the hooker was ruled out for the remainder of the 2013 season through injury. Charles underwent a knee reconstruction on Thursday after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament against the Cheetahs. Foley hands Junior Rasolea his Super Rugby starting debut after three appearances from the bench in the opening rounds of the competition. Rasolea's inclusion on the left wing sees Alfie Mafi shift to fullback in place of Will Tupou.
Former Brumbies and Waratahs utility Sam Norton-Knight and ex-Hurricanes scrum-half Chris Eaton are set to make their Force Super Rugby debut from the bench. Reserve hooker Ben Whittaker is also in line to earn his first cap of 2013 after returning from a foot injury, while fly-half Sam Christie and front-rower Kieran Longbottom have been named after representing the Force in their opening two fixtures against the Rebels and Kings.
Foley said his selected team had to focus on discipline in possession. "I've been pleased with the development we've shown over the first five matches of this competition, particularly the character we've displayed as a side," he said. "We've moved forward in a number of areas. However, last weekend was a reminder that we need to remain focused on achieving the outcomes we want with the ball in hand."
Force: Alfie Mafi; Patrick Dellit, Winston Stanley, Kyle Godwin, Junior Rasolea; Sias Ebersohn, Alby Mathewson; Richard Brown, Matt Hodgson (captain), Ben McCalman; Hugh McMeniman, Toby Lynn; Salesi Ma'afu, Heath Tessmann, Pek Cowan. Replacements: Ben Whittaker, Kieran Longbottom, Sam Wykes, Chris Alcock, Chris Eaton, Sam Christie, Sam Norton-Knight.
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