Force change two for Crusaders

Date published: May 29 2014

Western Force boss Michael Foley has made two changes to his starting XV for Friday's clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Western Force boss Michael Foley has made two changes to his starting XV for Friday's clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Back row Brynard Stander and utility back Patrick Dellit are the new faces in the run-on side after last weekend's victory over the Lions in Perth.

Stander earns his first opportunity in the starting line-up side after 10 dynamic performances off the bench in 2014. The 24-year-old will start at blindside flanker, while Angus Cottrell shifts to number eight, replacing Wallaby Ben McCalman, who will miss the match due to a groin strain.

Dellit returns to the starting line-up at outside centre to form a new-look centre pairing with Chris Tuatara-Morrison. Tuatara-Morrison shifts to inside centre to cover the absence of Luke Burton, who is currently on duty with the Australian U20 squad ahead of next month's IRB Junior World Championship in Auckland.

The match will be Dellit's first start in the number 13 jersey since the Western Force's last encounter against the Crusaders in Christchurch in 2012.

The Force bench will also feature two new faces for the match, including local Perth product Ryan Hodson, who is in line to make his debut for the Western Force having already played two Super Rugby matches for the Melbourne Rebels during the 2012 season.

Playmaker Dillyn Leyds, 21, is set to make his first Super Rugby appearance, having joined the Western Force from South Africa's Western Province for the 2014 season.

Foley said his side is looking for a strong performance ahead of the three-week Test break.

“Our recent block of matches has been a great challenge for the boys – starting with three strong South African sides and now facing the Crusaders in Christchurch,” he explained.

“While we've shown a lot of character in defence in recent weeks, our decision making with the ball was a feature against the Lions. To win with a bonus point on the back of the SA trip was a good effort, but even more pleasing was the way the boys reviewed their performance with a focus on identifying areas to improve.

“The Crusaders are a benchmark side and our ability to lift for one big effort ahead of the Test window will be crucial to performing well.”

Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Patrick Dellit, 12 Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Ryan Hodson, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Dillyn Leyds.

Date: Friday, May 30
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 local (07.35 GMT, 08.35 BST)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Lash (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
Television match official: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)