Force show their hand

Date published: March 15 2013

Force wing Patrick Dellit returns from injury while flank Chris Alcock has been promoted from the bench for Saturday's clash against the Reds.

Force wing Patrick Dellit returns from injury while flank Chris Alcock has been promoted from the bench for Saturday's clash against the Reds in Brisbane.

Dellit suffered an ankle injury and facial fractures in the Force's season opener against the Rebels in Melbourne, but will return for the Western Australian side at Suncorp Stadium in place of Wallabies winger Nick Cummins.

Cummins, who started against the Bulls a fortnight ago, has been ruled out after inflaming a knee injury suffered during the pre-season.

Alcock's call-up comes at the expense of captain Matt Hodgson, who has been rested to overcome a hamstring injury after aggravating it at Loftus Versfeld.

In Hodgson's absence, front-rower Pek Cowan will lead the side for the second time this season.

The match will also mark lock Hugh McMeniman's first appearance against his former franchise after joining the Western Force for the 2013 season. The 29-year-old, who has been a consistent performer for the Force through the early stages of the competition, played five years with the Reds before linking up with Japanese club, the Kubota Spears, following the 2009 Super 12 season.

After featuring five forwards on its reserves list in South Africa, the Western Force will revert to a more traditional four-three split against the Queenslanders.

Lock Phoenix Battye comes in for the injured Sam Wykes (ankle) while Brisbane-born back Junior Rasolea returns to the Force bench, alongside scrum-half Mick Snowden and midfielder Jayden Hayward.

Western Force coach Michael Foley said his side would seek to build on the momentum from its last performance against the Bulls.

“During the Bulls, we were pleased with the character the team displayed as well as a number of elements of our game,” he said.

“We have used the bye week to emphasise the lessons we've learnt from the first three games and recognise the challenge in continuing to grow as a team and develop our game against the Reds.

“Saturday provides a great opportunity for both Chris and Paddy. Chris has played well for us in our opening three matches. Likewise, Paddy has been one of our most improved performers through the pre-season and against the Rebels.”

Western Force: 15 Will Tupou, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan (c). Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Mick Snowden, 21 Junior Rasolea, 22 Jayden Hayward.

Date: Saturday, 16 March
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19:40
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffman (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)