Polota-Nau to start in Christchurch

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Tatafu Polota-Nau will take the starting hooker responsibilities in Christchurch on Saturday, in a revamped Force team.

Polota-Nau will replace co-captain Heath Tessman for the first time since switching to the Perth franchise this season.

Jono Lance will bear the captaincy in the clash, with vice-captain Dane Haylett-Petty being rested for the tour.

Luke Morahan will switch to Haylett-Petty's fullback role for the match up with the Canterbury side, their first match against a Kiwi side this year.

Youngster Alex Newsome will team up with Chance Peni on the wings, while Marcel Brache will replace Bill Meakes (ankle).

Matt Hodgson will make his 2017 debut off the bench, returning from a hamstring injury, while Rory Arnold's twin brother Richie will make his Force debut.

Coach Dave Wessels said the match would be a litmus test for the side.

“Playing New Zealand teams in New Zealand is the ultimate test of our progress over the last few months. There’s great energy in the group and we’re looking forward to Friday night.”

The Force take on the Crusaders on Friday at 5:30pm AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS.


IN: Marcel Brache, Matt Hodgson, Richie Arnold

OUT: Dane Haylett-Petty, Onehunga Havili Kaufusi, Brynard Stander

Force team to take on the Crusaders 

1. Ben Daley

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau

3. Jermaine Ainsley

4. Ross Haylett-Petty

5. Matt Philip

6. Isi Naisarani

7. Kane Koteka

8. Richard Hardwick

9. Ryan Louwrens

10. Jono Lance (C)

11. Chance Peni

12. Marcel Brache

13. Curtis Rona

14. Alex Newsome

15. Luke Morahan


16. Heath Tessmann

17. Pek Cowan

18. Tetera Faulkner

19. Richie Arnold*

20. Matt Hodgson

21. Michael Ruru

22. Ian Prior

23. Robbie Coleman