Force change two for Waratahs

Western Force head coach Michael Foley has made two changes to his starting XV for Saturday's Clash with the Waratahs in Perth.

Francois van Wyk comes in at loosehead prop to replace the injured Pek Cowan while Marcel Brache returns to man the right wing replacing Luke Morahan who misses the contest with soreness. 

Brynard Stander and Chris Heiberg return to the bench while Future Force Foundation hooker Harry Scoble could make his Super Rugby debut after being named in the reserves.

Coming off the bye Foley said the side is well rested and looking forward to the challenge the Waratahs pose. 

“We took some time to recover during the first part of the bye week and began preparing for this match last Thursday,” he said.

“The break has allowed us to address some key areas that we’re looking to improve for the next three games before our next bye. 

"While the Waratahs have a number of strike weapons that we need to pressure,  we’re looking forward to the challenge of playing one of the leading teams in the competition.”

In the front row Tetera Faulkner will run on at tighthead in what will be his 50th appearance for the Western Australian club and will link up with hooker Heath Tessman with Van Wyk to pack down at loosehead.

Sitiveni (Steve) Mafi and Adam Coleman once again partner in the second row with sights set on controlling the set-piece.

The backrow remains unchanged with Angus Cottrell looking to continue his strong form at blindside, skipper Matt Hodgson at openside and Ben McCalman rounding at the forward pack in the No.8 jersey.  

The experienced pairing of Alby Mathewson and Peter Grant continue their solid partnership in the halves and will look to get the Force on the front foot against a strong Waratahs defensive unit.

Solomoni (Junior) Rasolea and Ben Tapuai will once again bring their strong ball running presence to the side’s midfield named at inside and outside centre respectively.

Brache is the only change to the back three with Semisi Masirewa to fill the left wing while Dane Haylett-Petty will command the back in the No.15 jersey. 

Coming off the bench, scrum-half Ryan Louwrens will again look to spark the Force’s attack when the opportunity presents itself while fully fit Kyle Godwin and Brynard Stander will look to make an impact when called upon. 

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Junior Rasolea, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Francois van Wyk R
Replacements: 16 Harry Scoble, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Rory Walton, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Kyle Godwin, 23 Albert Nikoro

Date: Saturday, April 23
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 17:40 local (09:40 GMT)
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Referees: Will Houston, Michael Hogan
TMO: Peter Marshall