WESTERN Force captain Ben McCalman is out of the inaugural Brisbane Global 10s tournament after having surgery on his dislocated right thumb.
The Wallaby No.8 was injured in training last week but is expected to be ready for the Force’s opening Super Rugby clash against the Waratahs in Sydney on February 25.
Loose-head prop Francois van Wyk will be out for up to six weeks after injuring a calf muscle in last Saturday’s intraclub trial.
A number of other big names like new centre Bill Meakes are missing from the 26-man squad for the two-day event at Suncorp Stadium on February 11-12 but they are expected to play in the trial against Melbourne Rebels on the Gold Coast on Monday.
Wallabies winger Dane Haylett-Petty will not feature in either the trial or the 10s.
The club has included Wallaby duo Tatafu Polota-Nau and Luke Morahan, new signing Robbie Coleman, veteran Matt Hodgson and Curtis Rona and Chance Peni, who have returned to rugby after a spell in NRL, in the 10s squad.
Skills coach Kevin Foote will take charge of the side to play the Bulls, Hurricanes and French powerhouse Toulon — who will feature former Force players James O’Connor and Drew Mitchell — in the pool stages.
The Force have already had success in the 10s format, winning last year’s World 10s title and Foote said the side would take momentum from that win.
“We have a really good balance in the squad, a really strong squad who are excited to play that style of game,” he said. “Importantly we want to go out there and enjoy playing the game.”
The competition will feature 10 Super Rugby franchises from Australia and New Zealand, the Bulls, the Samoan international team, Toulon and Panasonic Wild Knights.
Force squad: Richie Arnold, Marcel Brache, Robbie Coleman, Mees Erasmus, Peter Grant, Richard Hardwick, Ross Haylett-Petty, Matt Hodgson, Onehunga Kaufusi, Kane Koteka, Ryan Louwrens, Semisi Masiwera, Luke Morahan, Isi Naisarani, Alex Newsome, Chance Peni, Matt Philip, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Ian Prior, Anaru Rangi, Curtis Rona, Michael Ruru, Brynard Stander, Heath Tessmann, James Verity-Amm, Shambeckler Vui.