Injuries force Wessels' hand for Lions clash

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Injuries have left the Force with no choice but to reshuffle their side for a clash with the Lions this Saturday.

Star fullback Dane Haylett-Petty (hamstring) was ruled out earlier in the week, potentially racing the clock to even feature in the Wallabies' June series, while a broken cheekbone has ended Luke Morahan's chances of suiting up against the Lions.

Curtis Rona will switch back to the 13 spot, with Marcel Brache taking on Haylett-Petty's fullback position.

Flyhalf Jono Lance has been left on the bench for the second week in a row, with Luke Burton starting at 10 against the 2016 finalists.

In the forwards, Pek Cowan will start at loosehead ahead of Ben Daley, with Francois van Wyk left out of the 23, as U20s star Shambeckler Vui comes into the 23.

Pek Cowan has re-signed until the end of 2018. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyForce coach Dave Wessels said the South African team would be a major threat.

"The Lions are obviously a very well balanced side with the ability to mix up their attack," he aid.

"They’ve been together a long time as a team and we’ll need to be at our best if we hope to break them down.”

Wessels called for Force fans to turn up again this week after a 14,089 crowd in Perth for their loss to the Chiefs.

“It meant so much to us to have so many of the Sea of Blue at nib Stadium last week and we look forward to seeing them again this Saturday," he said.

The Force will take on the Lions on Saturday night, kicking off at 9:55pm AEST, 7:55pm AWST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on


IN: Shambeckler Vui,James Verity-Amm, Peter Grant

OUT: Luke Morahan (cheekbone), Dane Haylett-Petty (hamstring), Francois van Wyk

Force to take on the Lions

1. Pek Cowan

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau

3. Tetera Faulkner

4. Lewis Carmichael

5. Ross Haylett-Petty

6. Brynard Stander

7. Matt Hodgson (C)

8. Isi Naisarani

9. Ian Prior

10. Luke Burton

11. Alex Newsome

12. Bill Meakes

13. Curtis Rona

14. James Verity-Amm

15. Marcel Brache


16. Heath Tessmann (VC)

17. Ben Daley

18. Shambeckler Vui

19. Onehunga Havilli

20. Richard Hardwick

21. Mitch Short

22. Jono Lance

23. Peter Grant