Cowan backs depth as injury crisis strikes

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Pek Cowan is confident the Force have the depth to cope with the latest injury blows to strike the club.

Luke Morahan and Dane Haylett-Petty have been ruled out for extended periods of time after suffering cheekbone and hamstring injuries, respectively, in the loss to the Chiefs.

Those significant blows add to the already lengthy injury list, which includes stars Ben McCalman, Adam Coleman and Chance Peni.

"Our depth is being stretched, there is no doubt, but the way we are playing and the way we have been able to manage it has been great," Cowan said.

"I think we've got at least seven or eight guys out of our 23 at the moment that aren't available for selection due to injury.Pek Cowan and the Force have been good without being great in 2017. Photo: Getty Images"That in itself has obviously set some challenges for us but in terms of the guys we have been able to bring it, we have to back them.

"It's the nature of the beast in Super Rugby and contact sport in general."

The Force were well held by the Chiefs in a dour clash last Saturday and the task doesn't get any easier when the Lions come to town on Saturday night.

They are the best team in either South African Conference and they are capable of playing rugby which gets fans out of their seats.Cowan and the Force are fighting for survival in 2018 and beyond. Photo: Getty ImagesThis will be a big test for the Force and that is not lost on Cowan in his return to the starting XV.

"We have played well against the Lions traditionally but they're not the Lions of old," he said.

"They're a quality rugby team, having made the finals last year proved that and I think their results this year have been the same.

"It's about making sure what's coming at us and making sure we do what we need to do to get the points."

The Force host the Lions on Saturday night, kicking off at 9:55pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and on radio at RUGBY.com.au.

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