Cummins returns for wounded Force

Date published: July 3 2014

After being comprehensively smashed by the Blues last weekend, the Force welcome back Nick Cummins to take on the Reds in Perth.

After being comprehensively smashed 40-14 by the Blues last weekend, the Force welcome back Nick Cummins to take on the Reds in Perth.

The Western Australians bring Cummins back on to the left wing after he missed last weekend's match with a neck complaint suffered during the Wallabies' three-Test series against France.

Cummins will man the wings with Dane Haylett-Petty, while Jayden Hayward completes back three with the full-back scoring the match-winning try in the Force's 32-29 win over the Reds in Brisbane in Round 8.

The Force will feature a new half-back pairing of Ian Prior and Zack Holmes, while Alby Mathewson (hip) and Sias Ebersohn (bicep) have been ruled out through injury. Prior has already started in six of his 12 appearances for the Force this season, while Holmes earns his third opportunity in the run-on side.

In the Force forward pack, Wilhelm Steenkamp replaces Adam Coleman at lock, while prop Pek Cowan will become the third most-capped player in the club's history on Saturday when he runs out for his 80th Super Rugby match for the Force.

The 28-year-old surpasses Richard Brown (79 caps) and sits behind Matt Hodgson (111) and Nathan Sharpe (92) on the all-time list of appearances for the club.

It's an all-Wallaby back-row as skipper Hodgson is joined by Hugh McMenamin and Ben McCalman among the loose forwards.

Head coach Michael Foley says his side will be looking for a fitting final home performance of the regular season in front of the club's 'Sea of Blue'.

“We've loved playing at home this season and our supporters are an important part of what makes it so special” he said.

“This weekend we're looking for a performance that not only allows us to reach the goals we've set ourselves as a team, but provides a fitting performance for our fans who keep fronting for us.

“We know that the key to achieving that is our attitude.

“Irrespective of the situation in the game – attack, defence, the battle at the breakdown, our desire to win every moment and our willingness to work for each other – will always make the biggest difference.”

Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Hugh McMenamin, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Dillyn Leyds, 23 Solomoni Rasolea

Date: Saturday 5th July
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 1940 local, 1040 BST
Referee: Angus Gardner (Aus)
Assistant referees: James Leckie, Ian Smith (both Aus)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Aus)