Western Force confirm Bay of Plenty showdown

Wed, 26/05/2021, 05:06 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Sydney Opera House Sails lit up in support of the launch of Australia's Bid to host Rugby World Cup 2027.

The Western Force have confirmed an end-of-season fixture against New Zealand provincial side Bay of Plenty for July 16.

The Force are set to finish their Super Rugby Trans-Tasman season in New Zealand for the final three rounds of the competition.

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However, that will not spell the end of the season after the club confirmed on Wednesday they will play against the provincial side at HBF Park.

Western Force CEO Tony Lewis has confirmed the NZ club are set to bring their strongest squad, which could include Chiefs trio Aidan Ross, hooker Nathan Harris and scrumhalf Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, and Blues flyhalf Otere Black.

"The commitment of the Bay of Plenty to bring their strongest team that includes 24 Super Rugby players in their squad is very compelling," Lewis explained.

"Bay of Plenty saw the opportunity to grow a relationship with the Force, which is important to us.

"The idea of a team packed full of Super Rugby stars going head-to-head with the Force in July is extremely exciting. It's going to be great for our Members and fans to see the intensity, desire and tribalism of New Zealand Provincial rugby."

Double cut-out pass by Ian Prior for Angus Wagner's try.

This was shared by BoP CEO Mike Rogers, who was looking to build off their relationship forged during Global Rapid Rugby, which saw the club team up with the China Rugby Football Association to form the China Lions.

"We have built a strong relationship with Rugby WA and the Western Force through our involvement in Rapid Rugby last year and see this historic first fixture as an important step in the growth of activity and collaboration between our two organisations," says Rogers.

 "We know this will be a big challenge with the Force having had a good season in Super Rugby but I know our team will be hugely motivated to perform well as we build towards the Bunnings Cup NPC season."

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