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Force start Alcock, McMeniman

27th February 2014 06:21

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Chris Alcock in action for Western Force

Starts: Chris Alcock

Lock Hugh McMeniman and flanker Chris Alcock have returned to the Force starting XV for Saturday's clash against the Brumbies at nib Stadium.

McMeniman's selection in the starting line-up completes his return from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the second half of 2013. He will pack down alongside Sam Wykes on Saturday.

Alcock, who, along with Alby Mathewson, was one of only two players to play each match for the Force in 2013, will join captain Matt Hodgson and number eight Ben McCalman in the back row.

The Force will field an identical backline to last week, including Nick Cummins on the wing and Kyle Godwin at inside centre, who each crossed for the Force's two tries against the Waratahs.

The changes to the Force bench see lock Wilhelm Steenkamp and flanker Angus Cottrell start from the reserves list, while Jayden Hayward returns to the match-day squad after scoring 24 points in Force A's 29-23 win over Reds A in last Friday's Pacific Rugby Cup opener.

Fly-half Zack Holmes and reserve scrum-half Ian Prior will line up against their former club for the first time since joining the Force.

Head coach Michael Foley says his team is looking forward to playing in front of the 'Sea of Blue' for the first time in 2014.

"While we were disappointed with aspects of last week's game, the upside is we have control of how we deliver in those areas in the future," he said.

"Some of our discipline to system let us down, but the boys individually showed great spirit to still be in the fight at the 65th-minute mark.

"We're looking forward to playing at home in front of our supporters for the first time this season and above all else, our goal is to harness the individual fighting spirit into an 80-minute team performance."

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

Date: Saturday, March 1
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 19:00 local (11:00 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Ian Smith (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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