Folau fit for Force debut in Super Round clash

Mar 2 • Australia, General News, International, National, Super Rugby, Super Rugby Fixtures, Super Rugby News • 6304 Views • Comments Off on Folau fit for Force debut in Super Round clash

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Folau Fainga’a and Manasa Mataele return to face the Reds after a cautious late withdrawal in Round 1.

Fainga’a has proven fit, and will start at hooker for the first time in the Force jersey. Consistent front rowers Robertson and Medrano add weight against a hard-hitting Reds uniform.

Mataele returns to the right wing after pulling up tight moments before the team was due to run on at HBF Park. Mataele was one of just two players to make 1000+ metres from their carries in last season’s Super Rugby campaign (1023m) and also made the joint-second most line breaks of any player in the competition last term (14). His power through contact will be welcomed heading into a strong Reds defence.

Fresh out of his short-lived retirement, comeback king Jeremy Thrush earns a start after securing the match-winning try in the final minutes of last week’s home game, partnering with Williams as the locking combination makes for an exciting duo.

Commanding the breakdown, the heavily contested back-row sees Anstee, Wells, and Callan obtain their starting positions as loose forwards.

Shifting the pace of the game with his speed and agility in the second half, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa starts at scrum-half. Facing their former side, experienced Hegarty and Stewart, with near 200 Super Rugby caps between them, are nearby at fly-half and inside centre, aiding the rhythm early on.

Kuenzle provides another kicking option at #13, with Tiatia set for another class act at full-back.

Force vs Reds

1 Tom Robertson

2 Folau Fainga’a

3 Santiago Medrano

4 Jeremy Williams

5 Jeremy Thrush

6 Tim Anstee

7 Ollie Callan

8 Michael Wells

9 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa

10 Bryce Hegarty

11 Zach Kibirige

12 Hamish Stewart

13 Bayley Kuenzle

14 Manasa Mataele

15 Chase Tiatia


16 Tom Horton

17 Angus Wagner

18 Siosifa Amone

19 Felix Kalapu

20 Jackson Pugh

21 Ian Prior

22 George Poolman

23 Jake Strachan

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