Force skipper won't follow in Wallaby's trash-talking footsteps
SPOTLIGHT: Western Force skipper Michael Wells says he won’t follow in the trash-talking footsteps of Folau Fainga’a leading into Friday’s clash with the Melbourne Rebels.
Fainga’a gave Force coach Simon Cron a huge shock last week when he said the Brumbies’ decision to rest their Wallabies stars for their trip to Perth meant they were sending over their “little puppies” to allow the “big dogs” to rest at home and get their necks massaged.
The Wallabies hooker, who spent six years at the Brumbies, also unleashed a series of hilarious pot shots at individuals such as Darcy Swain, Tom Wright, James Slipper and Rob Valetini.
Fainga’a backed up his sledging by producing a strong display in the Force’s 34-19 win.
Wells will notch his 100-game Super Rugby milestone on Friday, against a Rebels outfit he captained last year.
The 30-year-old is renowned for his no-nonsense tough-talk, but he won’t be throwing any barbs at his former teammates via the media.
“Team message is always technical, tactical. It’s not really throwing pot shots,” Wells said.
“I won’t be doing any of that this week. I won’t be calling them puppies like Folau did.
“We all know better than that. I’ve seen how the Rebels have improved this year. They’re going to be a good challenge.
“It’s going to be a physical game, they’re an exciting team.
“We played them in Round One, and I caught up with the boys there. You joke with your good mates, because that’s always what it is.
“I got to throw some barbs earlier on in the year, so I don’t need to do that again.”
The Force sit eighth on the ladder, three points ahead of the Highlanders, five points ahead of Fijian Drua, and six points ahead of the Rebels.
A win over the Rebels could be enough for the Force to lock in a finals berth depending on other results.
However, a loss would mean the Force might have to beat the ladder-leading Chiefs in the final round to sneak into the finals.
“It [our finals fate] is under our control,” Wells said.
“We have two games left. Right now we’re in eighth position. If we win those games, we’re keeping that position. We could even go up.
“The Rebels are fighting for their season as well. This is double points.
“You have to get excited about potentially ending the hopes of other teams’ finals chances, because that’s what they’re tyring to do to us.”
The Force beat the Rebels 34-27 in round one, but Cron’s men are yet to win a game on the road this season.