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McMeniman starts for Western Force

20th March 2014 06:30

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Hugh McMeniman for Western Force

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Wallaby forward Hugh McMeniman will return to the Western Force starting line-up for their clash with the Chiefs at nib Stadium on Saturday.

McMeniman, who travelled to New Zealand last week but was not named in the 31-29 win over the Highlanders, will make his return to the field after recovering from a back injury sustained against the Brumbies in Week Three.

The 22-Test Wallaby makes his comeback on the blindside flank, with Angus Cottrell moving to number eight in place of Ben McCalman, who will miss Saturday's clash after receiving a two-week suspension for a dangerous tackle in the match against the Highlanders.

The remainder of the Western Force pack remains unchanged, while the team will run out the identical backline and reserves list from the past two matches against the Melbourne Rebels and Highlanders.

Western Force head coach Michael Foley says his side is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the reigning champions.

"The Chiefs are the benchmark side in the competition," he said."Having said that, the opportunity to play them at home in front of our supporters is exciting.

"The response of the team to the challenges of the last two weeks speaks volumes for the character of the group.

"We're learning all the time. Already this season our understanding of how to gain momentum, as well as our ability to remain composed when we don't have it has improved."

Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Junior Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Hugh McMeniman, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Marcel Brache.

Date: Saturday, March 22
Kick-off: 19:00 local (11:00 GMT)
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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