The Western Force travel to Melbourne this week as they take on the Melbourne Rebels in the Round 8 Super Rugby AU clash at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Head coach Tim Sampson has made several changes to the starting side that took on the ACT Brumbies in Canberra in Round 6, including the highly anticipated return of homegrown star Kyle Godwin.
The capped Wallaby suffered a foot injury before the season opener and has since been sidelined. Godwin has been named at inside centre and will also be leading the team out as captain for the very first time.
Argentinian international Santiago Medrano replaces the injured Greg Holmes at tighthead prop, while his fellow Los Pumas teammates Tomás Lezana, Tomás Cubelli and Domingo Miotto are set to start at eight, nine and 10 respectively. This marks the first time the Argentinian quartet will take to the field all in the starting 15 for the Force.
After making his Western Force and Super Rugby debut against the Brumbies a fortnight ago, English speedster Jordan Olowofela has been named on the wing.
Andrew Ready returns from suspension, while club stalwart Kieran Longbottom and local product Grason Makara are in line to make their first appearances of the Super Rugby AU season.
Two players from the extended replacements list will be omitted from the matchday 23 for Friday’s game, but have travelled with the squad.
1,Tom Robertson, 2. Feleti Kaitu’u, 3. Santiago Medrano, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Sitaleki Timani, 6. Fergus Lee-Warner, 7. Kane Koteka, 8. Tomás Lezana, 9. Tomás Cubelli, 10. Domingo Miotti, 11. Jordan Olowofela, 12. Kyle Godwin (c), 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Byron Ralston, 15. Jack McGregor.
Andrew Ready, Jack Winchester, Angus Wagner, Kieran Longbottom, Ryan McCauley, Tim Anstee, Brynard Stander, Ian Prior, Grason Makara, Richard Kahui.