Planet Rugby

Force duo return for Bulls clash

24th April 2014 09:22

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Sam Wykes W Force v Brumbies SR 2014

Second-row: Sam Wykes

The Force are boosted by the return of second-row Sam Wykes and full-back Jayden Hayward for their clash with the Bulls in Perth on Saturday.

Wykes has recovered from a rib injury and returns to the starting pack, alongside Adam Coleman, who was solid in his starting debut last week.

Lock Wilhelm Steenkamp will provide cover from the bench in his first appearance against his former club since joining the Force for 2014.

Hayward returns to his customary full-back role with Dane Haylett-Petty, who started in the fifteen spot against the Rebels, moving to the wing.

Force head coach Michael Foley says his side is looking forward returning home to the 'Force Field' to take on the three-time Super Rugby winners.

"In the last three weeks the boys have tackled one of the toughest sections of the season; three consecutive derbies with travel across the country for each match is a significant challenge," he said.

"While we were disappointed in aspects of our game against the Rebels, the win against the Reds away and our first ever win against the Waratahs at home were great signs of the progress the boys have made.

"This weekend marks the first of four consecutive games against South African opponents who present a different type of challenge to Australian and New Zealand teams. South African sides use their set piece and kicking games as weapons and we will need to perform well in both these areas to achieve success in the next month.

"As the first Perth player to achieve 50 games for the club, Kieran's milestone is a great reward for his perseverance and determination to constantly chase improvement. I'm certain all the boys are keen to see him rewarded for his commitment to the team."

Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (capt), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Chris Tuatara-Morrison.

Date: Saturday, April 26
Kick-off: 17:40 local (10:40 BST, 09:40 GMT)
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia) , Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)

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