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The Western Force will be eyeing off a chance to notch their first Super Rugby AU win against the Melbourne Rebels at Leichhardt Oval tonight. Join The Roar for live scores from 7:05pm (AEST).
The Force have been far more admirable performers in their three games to date than their winless record suggests. While they were comprehensively shut out last week against the Brumbies, they pushed the Reds and Waratahs all the way to full-time in the previous two rounds and the Rebels will have to be wary about falling victim to an upset win.
Dave Wessels’ Melbourne side hit their groove last week to stay in touch with the finals places with a clinical win over the Tahs. It wasn’t flashy, but the stringent defence was a promising sign for Wessels’ side.
Unfortunately for the Melbournians, they’ll have to make do without skipper and former Force fullback Dane Haylett-Patty, who’s out injured. There’s some better news at the back of the scrum with Isi Naisarani returning to the side, while lock Matt Philip will come off the bench.
Tim Sampson has unveiled a new-look midfield pairing of two former Test players, with Kiwi Richard Kahui lining up alongside Kyle Godwin in the centres. The Force also welcome back regular skipper Ian Prior at halfback.
Kick-off: 7:05pm (AEST)
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
1. Chris Heiberg, 2. Feleti Kaitu’u, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Fergus Lee-Warner, 6. Henry Stowers, 7. Tevin Ferris, 8. Brynard Stander, 9. Ian Prior (c), 10. Jono Lance, 11. Marcel Brache, 12. Richard Kahui, 13. Kyle Godwin, 14. Byron Ralston, 15. Jack McGregor
Bench: 16. Andrew Ready, 17. Pek Cowan, 18. Tom Sheminant, 19. Johan Bardoul, 20. Ollie Callan, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Henry Taefu, 23. Brad Lacey
1. Cameron Orr, 2. Jordan Uelese, 3. Jermaine Ainsley, 4. Esei Ha’angana, 5. Trevor Hosea, 6. Michael Wells, 7. Richard Hardwick, 8. Isi Naisarani, 9. Ryan Louwrens, 10. Matt To’omua, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Billy Meakes, 13. Andrew Kellaway, 14. Tom Pincus, 15. Reece Hodge
Bench: 16. Efi Ma’afu, 17. Cabous Elouff, 18. Pone Fa’amausili, 19. Matt Philip, 20. Rob Leota, 21. Brad Wilkin, 22. Frank Lomani, 23. Andrew Deegan