Force pull selection surprise for round one

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Force have pulled a selection shock for their clash with the Waratahs, opting for Heath Tessman to start at hooker.

Force club captain Tessman was one of the form players in the NRC champion Perth Spirit side last year, but new recruit, Wallabies back up Tatafu Polota-nau was expected to get the starting job.

Polota-nau will sit on the pine on his return to Sydney,  forced to wait for his first confrontation with his former teammates.

In a boon for the Force, Test lock Adam Coleman will play his first match after a knee injury, named to start alongside Ross Haylett-Petty.

Coleman hasn't played since twisting his knee against Scotland on the Wallabies Spring Tour.

They'll have a relatively inexperienced back row, with Matt Hodgson (hamstring) and Ben McCalman (thumb) injured.

Highly rated centre combination, Bill Meakes and Curtis Rona, will have their first Super Rugby outing in a Sydney after an impressive preseason.
Tatafu Polota-Nau has been named to start on the bench. Photo: Stuart Walmsley/ARU Media.Force coach Dave Wessels said he was rewarding preseason form in his selections.

“It’s always exciting to actually be able to start the season after a long pre-season, the team have worked very hard," he said. 

“What we’ve tried to do is reward the players who we feel have shown the most intensity in their work up until now, so as always there were a few players unlucky to miss out, but we’re very proud of the guys that will represent us this weekend. - Dave Wessels.

TEAM

Force team to take on the Waratahs on Saturday at 7:40pm AEDT at Allianz Stadium.

1 Pek Cowan

2 Heath Tessmann (C)

3 Jermaine Ainsley

4 Ross Haylett-Petty

5 Adam Coleman

6 Brynard Stander

7 Kane Koteka

8 Richard Hardwick

9 Ryan Louwrens

10 Jono Lance

11 Chance Peni

12 Bill Meakes

13 Curtis Rona

14 Luke Morahan

15 Dane Haylett-Petty (VC)

Reserves

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

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