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Thread: Western Force Squad Announced for Brumbies Clash in Canberra

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    RugbyWA News Feed RugbyWA's Avatar
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    Western Force Squad Announced for Brumbies Clash in Canberra

    Emirates Western Force Head Coach John Mitchell has announced his team for Saturday night’s Investec Super 14 Week 3 clash with the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium.

    Mitchell has once again made five changes to his starting lineup in a bid to bolster his side’s mobility against the undefeated Canberra-based outfit.

    A torn medial knee ligament will sideline Gareth Hardy for up to six weeks, opening the door for 21-year-old Pek Cowan to return to the starting lineup at loosehead prop.

    Cowan will pack down alongside experienced duo Tai McIsaac and Ben Castle in the front row, while Tom Hockings has won his first run on appearance for the season at lock and Matt Hodgson will start in the number 6 jersey.

    Hodgson has played just 25 minutes of each of the WA side’s opening two matches, but has been favoured for the weekend clash ahead of former Brumbies forward Tamaiti Horua.

    Mitchell has also made changes to his backs division, moving 18-year-old James O’Connor to the reserves bench and calling on the experience of Junior Pelesasa at inside centre.

    Pelesasa has spent the opening fortnight of the season confined to the sidelines whilst nursing a hamstring injury, while O’Connor himself has dealt with a sprained ankle during the week.

    Emirates Western Force medical staff are confident the teenager has overcome the complaint, but will assess Cameron Shepherd’s condition ahead of game day before he is confirmed as a starter on the right wing.

    Shepherd sat out last week’s hard-fought 16-10 victory over the Cheetahs with ankle soreness and will have his situation monitored during the team’s final two training sessions.

    Drew Mitchell retains the fullback jersey after a strong showing against the Cheetahs, while another former Brumby in Richard Stanford joins the reserves bench.

    Stanford was acquired from the Brumbies for the 2009 season by the Emirates Western Force after 6 appearances in the navy blue jersey.

    The 22-year-old lock/flanker is in line to make his debut for the WA side, winning his first selection in the match 22.

    Coach John Mitchell said his side was eagerly anticipating their first ‘derby’ showdown of 2009.

    “The Australian derby matches always have that bit of extra feeling no matter who it is that’s playing, so we’re looking forward to the challenge on the start of our southern tour.”

    “We’ve certainly gone for more mobility in the side, but again we are looking at getting the best out of our entire squad and have based selections on the best mix for the opposition,” said Mitchell.

    The Emirates Western Force will cross the Tasman for two matches in New Zealand following the all-Australian showdown this Saturday night in Canberra.

    Utility midfielder Josh Tatupu makes up the 23-man touring squad, which will depart for Canberra this afternoon.

    2009 Investec Super 14 Week 3
    Emirates Western Force v Brumbies
    Saturday 28 February, 2009
    Canberra Stadium, Canberra
    Kick off: 7.40pm AEDST (5.40pm WDST)

    Emirates Western Force

    1. Pek Cowan
    2. Tai McIsaac
    3. Ben Castle
    4. Tom Hockings
    5. Nathan Sharpe (c)
    6. Matt Hodgson
    7. David Pocock
    8. Richard Brown
    9. Josh Valentine
    10. Matt Giteau
    11. Nick Cummins
    12. Junior Pelesasa
    13. Ryan Cross
    14. Cameron Shepherd*
    15. Drew Mitchell

    Reserves

    16. Luke Holmes
    17. Kieran Longbottom
    18. Richard Stanford
    19. Tamaiti Horua
    20. Chris O’Young
    21. James O’Connor
    22. Haig Sare

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    Senior Player BaldCunus's Avatar
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    Good changes... nice to see hockings, hodgson and junior get their first run ons... time to smash some Brumbies!!!

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    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    good to see hocko starting, about time......
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    yep, im definitely looking forward to hockings running on. hopefully see some good stuff from him.

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    Champion MI5_Dog's Avatar
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    So if Cam isn't fit I assume Haig will go to 14 which leaves ? on the bench?

    Where's Staniforth?

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    No, please not Haig - can't Junior or Cross jump out to the wing and bring in JOC, where's Scotty Stanners. or Josh Tatupu

    - we have more flankers than committed back line players

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    Yeah - where is Staniforth?

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    like the look of this squad,although lacking a little height at lineout time.Prefer shep at fullback.Time for TWF to step up another level if they want to be contenders and not classed as pretenders.Gits will be the key to this game,he has to take control early.Good luck to stanford if he gets a run.

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    Senior Player BaldCunus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MI5_Dog View Post
    So if Cam isn't fit I assume Haig will go to 14 which leaves ? on the bench?

    Where's Staniforth?
    Josh Taputu is in the 23 man squad flying out tonight so if sheps is injured he would go to bench with haig on wing I would say... but agree where's Stanners!!!

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    "Rugby may have many problems, but the gravest is undoubtedly that of the persistence of summer."
    Chris Laidlaw, New Zealand rugby player and sportswriter. Mud in Your Eye: A Worm's Eye View of the Changing World of Rugby (I 973).


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    I would suggest that Shepherd on the Wing is one or a combination of two things.
    1. He is highly unlikely (ie not going) to play so no point training out of position &
    2. A little bit of pandering to Drew during the recent media circus.

    I reckon Aussie Rob would have Drew back on the Wing and JO'C at Fullback.

    Fingers crossed for Junior getting through the match as it reads that we are carrying a couple of sixty minutes Backs for mine.
    Delighted to see the "cullet" (I think that's what someone called it!) getting a start too, his tackling may well be a deciding factor out wide.

    Was pretty impressed with Castle last week, 80 minutes on debut when suppossedly unfit the week before, and am looking forward to seeing this combination pack down.

    Great to see big Tom earn his spot but hoping PO'C isn't injured as he isn't on the bench either.
    Also looking forward to seeing Stanford in action as I have been hearing impressive things about him since Juniors.

    I'm guessing there will be a couple of seats booked back from Canberra and a couple booked Perth Auckland direct for Monday once some existing injuries and new injuries are assessed.

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    Sorry to ask a question not entirely related to this thread but does anyone know if J.B. O'Reillys will have the game up on the big screen this week?

    The scrum packing down should be interesting and i like the fact that we have two good fetchers in there to give Georgie boy a run for his money. Line out could be a problem but like last week expect Brownie to take a lot of balls in the air (good thing he is in my fantasy team)

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    Veteran Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandgroperrugby View Post
    Sorry to ask a question not entirely related to this thread but does anyone know if J.B. O'Reillys will have the game up on the big screen this week?
    ...
    It will have. I will be there to observe the game.

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    Nobody screws Perth like 7

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    Cheers B&B i will be down there myself then!

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    As will I. Some of us can't race off to the other side of the country for the game Stupid responsibilities...

    Can someone tell me what the hell Mitchell is thinking putting Cam on the wing and Drew at fullback!? Please tell me that's a typo...

    And I agree...where is Scotty?

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    Veteran robyn <3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehna View Post
    As will I. Some of us can't race off to the other side of the country for the game Stupid responsibilities...

    Can someone tell me what the hell Mitchell is thinking putting Cam on the wing and Drew at fullback!? Please tell me that's a typo...

    And I agree...where is Scotty?
    I think they are trying to make the force seem like the best place for him this week, after all the media stuff from this week. And I'm annoyed about it! Cameron at 15 please Mitch

    Basically what Burgs said

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    Last edited by robyn <3; 26-02-09 at 20:17. Reason: I just scrolled up whoops!

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