News Article

Force to unveil new-look side

  
Printable Version Printable Version    Recommend Recommend    Email to a friend Email to a friend
  
Share   

1/31/2013
By the AAP


The Western Force will unveil their new-look 9-10 combination in Friday night's Super Rugby trial match against the Brumbies in Darwin.

The Force overhauled their backline following last year's disastrous 3-13 win-loss campaign, but it's the new halves combination that holds the greatest intrigue.

Former All Blacks halfback Alby Mathewson and South African playmaker Sias Ebersohn will be handed starting roles against the Brumbies, with the pair in the box seat to cement their places in the side for the season opener against the Melbourne Rebels on February 15.

New Force coach Michael Foley said the chemistry between Mathewson and Ebersohn has been impressive at training, but he wants to see how it holds up under the heat of battle.

Injured Wallabies scrum-half Brett Sheehan, who is set to miss at least the first four weeks of the season with an ankle injury, will battle Mathewson for the No.9 jersey once he recovers, while Ebersohn will have to fight off the likes of Kyle Godwin, Sam Norton-Knight and Sam Christie for the five-eighth role.

Foley said the trial games against the Brumbies and a select Tongan XV would go a long way towards helping him decide the best starting XV for the season opener.

"We've definitely got a 15 in mind that will run out against the Rebels, but there's opportunity for a number of players to stake claims over the next two weeks," Foley said.

"There are a number of positions that are very close and combinations will be important."

The match against the Brumbies will pit the Force up against their former skipper David Pocock, who left the Perth-based franchise at the end of last season.

"I guess everyone's mates off the field, but when you do battle on the field, everyone's enemies," new Force centre Jayden Hayward replied when asked about the presence of Pocock.

"I guess they won't treat him differently. They'll treat him like an enemy."

The match will be broken up into 20-minute quarters, with each team allowed rolling substitutions.

Force winger Nick Cummins, who was part of Australia's spring tour squad, will be rested from the trial, while hooker Ben Whittaker (foot), Norton-Knight and Sheehan are others who won't take part.

Text/HTML

Brumbies edge out Melbourne Rebels as Force and Reds go down
Round four of the Asteron Life Super Rugby Competition has seen four of the five Australian teams take to the park with the Aquis Brumbies the only Australian team to claim victory. Read full article...
Waratahs and Reds prevail in round two
In the opening match of round two of the Asteron Life Super Rugby Competition the Brumbies pushed the Chiefs all the way in New Plymouth only to fall short in the dying stages of the match as Aaron Cruden kicked the penalty to get the Chiefs home.  Read full article...
Brumbies, Force and Rebels triumph in round one
The 2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby competition kicked off with both finalists from 2014, the NSW Waratahs and Crusaders going down at home to the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels respectively.  Read full article...
Asteron Life Super Rugby preview: Western Force
The Western Force enter their tenth  season in the competition off the back of their most successful year ever! The men from Perth won nine matches, including a five match winning streak in the middle of the season in 2014. Read full article...
Asteron Life Super Rugby Preview: NSW Waratahs
The 2014 Asteron Life Super Rugby Champions will have their work cut out for them this season if they want to be the first Australian province to successfully defend their title. Read full article...