Western Force head coach Tim Sampson has named a predominantly unchanged side to take on the Melbourne Rebels for this Saturday’s Round 2 match-up at AAMI Park.
There are just the two personnel changes, with Bayley Kuenzle out of the squad due to a knock sustained in Round 1. Kuenzle is replaced by All Black Richard Kahui with Byron Ralston also joining the match-day 23.
Starting from the reserves, hooker Andrew Ready is set to reach 50 Super Rugby caps on the weekend, having made his debut with the Queensland Reds against the Hurricanes in 2015.
Having dominated the lineout against the ACT Brumbies last Sunday, lock pairing Fergus Lee-Warner and Round 1 Player of the Match Izack Rodda will be looking to replicate much of the same in Melbourne.
Manasa Mataele and Toni Pulu continue their partnership on the wings following their dynamic performances in the season opener, including a barnstorming run from the former to set up the latter’s second-half try.
Head coach Tim Sampson said he has plenty of faith in the team from last weekend.
“I think the 23 guys that played against the Brumbies did an outstanding job and they deserve to be out there again playing against the Rebels,” Sampson said.
“To win a game of rugby you must have quality depth and that showed on the weekend when the guys that came on in the second half had an impact on the game.
“It’s been a strength of ours for a while and we’re very good in that period traditionally. We back the guys that come out in that second half, that they are going to do the job for us.”
1.Tom Robertson, 2. Feleti Kaitu’u (c), 3. Santiago Medrano, 4. Fergus Lee-Warner, 5. Izack Rodda, 6. Brynard Stander, 7. Kane Koteka, 8. Tim Anstee, 9. Ian Prior, 10. Reesjan Pasitoa, 11. Manasa Mataele, 12. Richard Kahui, 13. Kyle Godwin (vc), 14. Toni Pulu, 15. Jake Strachan.
16. Andrew Ready, 17. Harrison Lloyd, 18. Greg Holmes, 19. Ryan McCauley, 20. Ollie Callan, 21. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 22. Jake McIntyre, 23. Byron Ralston.