Force tweak team for Reds
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Head coach Tim Sampson has made two changes to the starting line-up as the Western Force prepare to take on the Queensland Reds at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday.
Queensland-born hooker Andrew Ready has been promoted to the run-on XV after some impressive performances off the bench in recent matches, including a try the last time the two sides met. This will be the former Reds player’s first start of the Super Rugby AU campaign.
Veteran hooker Heath Tessmann returns to the squad for the first time during the Super Rugby AU season.
The second change sees lock Ollie Atkins promoted to the starting line-up after being on the bench last week. Atkins replaces Fergus Lee-Warner who has been moved to the flank in the place of Henry Stowers, who is being rested.
With Atkins at right lock and the luxury of moving the versatile Lee-Warner to the side of the scrum, the Force will have three primary jumpers and more line-out options. It will also ensure help at the breakdown with the hard-working Lee-Warner expected to bring his customary strong carrying game to the contest.
Jake Strachan maintains his spot at fullback following a fine Man of the Match display against the Waratahs in his Super Rugby AU debut.
Wallaby Nick Frisby returns to the matchday squad as reserve scrumhalf after missing last week’s match with a broken nose, while Henry Taefu is also back into the side.
Western Force: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessman, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tom Sheminant, 19 Johan Bardoul, 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Jack McGregor, 23 Henry Taefu.
Date: Friday, August 21
Venue: Cbus Stadium, Gold Coast
Kick-off: 19.05 (09.05 GMT)
Referee: Jordan Way
Assistant referees: Nic Berry, Damon Murphy
TMO: Brett Cronan