Force to launch surprise attack in Sydney

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Western Force think they’ll be coming east this weekend armed with a surprise for the Waratahs.

Force coach Dave Wessels said his team had been working ‘under the cover of darkness’ when it came to east coast awareness this preseason.

“We don't get a huge amount of coverage for the stuff that we do, particularly over in the east coast,” he said.

“We're able to get away with our work here under the cover of night. - Dave Wessels

“We think we've done some good things over the last couple of months.”

Dave Wessels is confident Coleman will stay in Perth. Photo; WalmsleyWessels is confident they can silence their critics this season, as speculation swirls around their future amid SANZAAR’s Super Rugby reviews.

“I wouldn't be standing here if I didn't, I wouldn't have taken this job if I didn't (think we could surprise people),” he said.

“I'm confident with where we're at but sometimes the best laid plans have to change when you get punched in the mouth.

“We're going to have that challenge on Saturday night and it's just about getting our intensity in the right place.”

The Force’s backline is where fans can expect to see the most change, with the new centre pairing Bill Meakes and former NRL player Curtis Rona lining up in Super Rugby for the first time.

Rona’s task will be one of the toughest in rugby at Allianz Stadium, against Wallabies star Israel Folau but Wessels had no concerns over his readiness.

“I wouldn't be playing Curtis at 13 if I didn't' think he was comfortable there defensively,” he said.

“Defensively, 13 is a difficult place to defend but I think given his rugby background (he’ll be okay), it's not like we're necessarily trying to convert a leaguie there. - Dave Wessels

“He's played a fair bit of rugby in that position, so he feels pretty comfortable about it and he moves pretty well for a big guy and he's pretty aggressive.

“We feel confident that he's going to do a good job."

Wessels opted to start club captain Heath Tessman in the hooker spot over Wallabies backup Tatafu Polota-nau, leaving him a bench stacked with Super Rugby experience to call on.

The Force open their Super Rugby season on Saturday, against the Waratahs, as 7:40pm AEDT.