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The Emirates Western Force will welcome back their Qantas Wallabies 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.”
2013 Super Rugby – Week 20
Emirates Western Force v ACT Brumbies
nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday, 13 July 2013
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
16. Ben Whittaker
17. Salesi Ma’afu
18. Toby Lynn
19. Richard Brown
20. Brett Sheehan
21. Sam Norton-Knight
22. Sam Christie
The Western Force return to NIB Stadium for the second time this season and the Honey Badger wants sea of blue fans to “get your carcass on the chair”! In 2014 the Force had a slow start to the season, before finishing off strongly, and they will be hoping for a repeat after winning just one of their opening four matches this season!
The Queensland Reds are struggling with injury and form at present, and they’ve been handed another massive blow this weekend with James O’Connor (leg) & Lachie Turner (concussion) being ruled out. Suffering a 23-5 loss to the NSW Waratahs on the weekend, the Reds will run onto Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night looking to turn their season around after just one win to their name in the opening four rounds coming against the Western Force two weeks ago!