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Western Force

Force unchanged for Cheetahs

08th May 2014 08:15

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Sias Ebersohn W Force v Rebels SR 2014

Back in Bloemfontein: Sias Ebersohn

Western Force head coach Michael Foley has named an unchanged squad to face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Foley has maintained the same 23-man squad that overcame the Bulls, 15-9, in the team's last match in Perth a fortnight ago.

The match will mark fly-half Sias Ebersohn's first in Bloemfontein since joining the Western Australian-based club from the Cheetahs for the 2013 Super Rugby season. The Bloemfontein-born pivot played 30 matches for the Cheetahs between 2010 and 2012.

Lock Wilhelm Steenkamp, who will start from the bench on Saturday, also makes his return to the Free State, where he played 13 matches for the Cheetahs in 2012.

Steenkamp also represented the Bulls (2008-2009, 2012-2013) and the Sharks (2010) before joining the Western Force this season.

Saturday's match is the club's second in a series of four matches against South African opposition, with the Force also to play the Stormers in Cape Town (Saturday, May 17) before returning to Perth to face the Lions on Saturday, May 24.

Foley said the four remaining matches leading into the June Test break represents an important period for his side.

"It was pleasing to see the boys adapt to a different style of game in difficult conditions against the Bulls," he told the Western Force's official website.

"The intensity we played with was excellent and will be critical in overcoming the Cheetahs, who have scored the third most tries in the competition this season."

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 (c), 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, May 10
Kick-off: 17:05 local (16:05 BST, 15:05 GMT)
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Francois de Bruin (South Africa), Marius Jonker (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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1Waratahs1658
2Brumbies1645
3Western Force1640
4Reds1628
5Melbourne Rebels1621