COWAN RETURNS TO FACE HURRICANES

Feb 26 • General News, Super Rugby • 1513 Views • Comments Off on COWAN RETURNS TO FACE HURRICANES

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Loosehead prop Pek Cowan will return to the Western Force starting line-up to face the Wellington Hurricanes at the ‘Force Field’ (nib Stadium) on Friday night (27 February) – the opening home match of the club’s 10th Asteron Life Super Rugby season.

Cowan was carried from the field in the club’s opening round match against the NSW Waratahs in Sydney, with scans clearing him of any serious injury.

The match will be the 28-year-old’s 93rd for the Western Force – allowing him to surpass Nathan Sharpe (92 matches) as the second most-capped player for the club. Matt Hodgson (113 matches) remains the most-capped Western Force player.

Lock Steve Mafi has received his first opportunity in the starting XV after two strong performances from the bench, and will replace the injured Adam Coleman (hip) in the second row.

Dynamic back-rower Brynard Stander has also been provided with his first run-on start for 2015, and will start at openside flanker in place of the injured pairing of Matt Hodgson (hamstring) and Chris Alcock (ankle).

In the backline, Zack Holmes will shift from fullback to flyhalf, allowing Luke Burton to start in the ‘15’ jersey.

The Force reserves list sees Future Force and Wests Scarborough flanker Kane Koteka in line to make his Asteron Life Super Rugby debut, while Rory Walton returns to the match day 23 for the first time since Round 17 in 2013.

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says his side is looking forward to playing its first match of the season on home soil.

“We look forward to every game we play at home in front of our passionate supporters” he said.

“It’s pleasing to have Pek return to the squad, as Friday marks another milestone in his career becoming the second most-capped player in the club’s history.

“It also represents an excellent opportunity for both Steve [Mafi] and Kane [Koteka] in their starting and Super Rugby debuts respectively.

“Steve’s hard work through pre-season has shown in the impact he’s had in the opening two games and Kane has earned a lot of respect through his performances in NRC and this season’s trials.”

Tickets are available for the Western Force’s match against the Wellington Hurricanes at the ‘Force Field’ (nib Stadium) on Friday, 27 February. Tickets are available from www.westernforce.com.au.

2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby – Week Three
Western Force v Hurricanes
The ‘Force Field’ (nib Stadium), Perth
Friday, 27 February 2015
Kick-off: 7pm

1. Pekahou Cowan
2. Nathan Charles
3. Tetera Faulkner
4. Sam Wykes (c)
5. Steve Mafi*
6. Angus Cottrell
7. Brynard Stander
8. Ben McCalman
9. Alby Mathewson
10. Zack Holmes
11. Marcel Brache
12. Solomoni Jnr Rasolea
13. Kyle Godwin
14. Luke Morahan
15. Luke Burton

Reserves
16. Heath Tessmann
17. Chris Heiberg
18. Oliver Hoskins
19. Rory Walton
20. Kane Koteka**
21. Ian Prior
22. Sias Ebersohn
23. Mitchell Scott
* denotes Western Force/Super Rugby starting debut
** denotes Western Force/Super Rugby debut

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