The Emirates Western Force returns to Perth for their second home match of the 2013 Super Rugby season against the Rebels tomorrow afternoon at the revamped nib Stadium.
The Emirates Western Force will be chasing its second win of 2013, after a narrow 23-19 loss to the NSW Waratahs in Sydney last weekend.
The Force has made three changes to its starting XV with flanker Angus Cottrell and fullback Will Tupou returning to the run-on side, while Kieran Longbottom makes his first appearance in the ‘1’ jersey for 2013.
Replacement lock Sam Wykes is set to play his 50th Super Rugby match for the Emirates Western Force in his sixth season with the Western Australian side, while the Force will celebrate its 50th home match in Super Rugby.
The Rebels return to Australian following their two-match South African leg and will be chasing their first win since their 30-23 win over the Force in Week One. Flanker Scott Higginbotham will captain the Rebels for the first time in the absence of Gareth Delve, while Caydern Neville and ex-Force centre Rory Sidey have been included in the starting XV.
Emirates Western Force v Rebels
Weather Forecast: Min: 16C Max: 29C. Mostly sunny. Winds southeasterly 20 to 30 km/h. Afternoon coastal sea breeze.
Last Meeting: Rebels 30 def Emirates Western Force 23 in Melbourne (2013)
Head to head: Played 5 – Emirates Western Force 1; Rebels 4
In Perth: Played 2 – Emirates Western Force 0; Rebels 2
Biggest win: Emirates Western Force 27 def Rebels 24 in Melbourne (2011)
Biggest loss: Rebels 30 def Emirates Western Force 23 in Melbourne (2013)
Rebels 30 def Emirates Western Force 29 in Melbourne (2012)
Rebels 32 def Emirates Western Force 31 in Perth (2012)
Emirates Western Force: Played 6; Won 1, Lost 5; 10pts (12th)
Rebels: Played 6; Won 1, Lost: 5; 9pts (13th)
Emirates Western Force
1. Kieran Longbottom, 2. Heath Tessmann, 3. Salesi Ma’afu, 4. Toby Lynn, 5. Hugh McMeniman, 6. Angus Cottrell, 7. Matt Hodgson (c), 8. Ben McCalman, 9. Alby Mathewson, 10. Sias Ebersohn, 11. Alfie Mafi, 12. Kyle Godwin, 13. Winston Stanley, 14. Patrick Dellit, 15. Will Tupou. Res: 16. Ben Whittaker, 17. Tetera Faulkner, 18. Sam Wykes, 19. Chris Alcock, 20. Mick Snowden, 21. Sam Christie, 22. Sam Norton-Knight.
Coach: Michael Foley
1. Nic Henderson, 2. Ged Robinson, 3. Paul Alo-Emile, 4. Hugh Pyle, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Luke Jones, 7. Scott Fuglistaller, 8. Scott Higginbotham (c), 9. Nick Phipps, 10. Angus Roberts, 11. Richard Kingi, 12. Rory Sidey, 13. Mitch Inman, 14. Jason Woodward, 15. James O’Connor. Res: 16. Shota Horie, 17. Laurie Weeks, 18. Jarrod Saffy, 19. Jordy Reid, 20. Nic Stirzaker, 21. Tom English, 22. Cooper Vuna. Coach: Damien Hill
Referee: Mike Fraser Assistant Referees: Rohan Hoffmann, James Leckie TMO: Matt Goddard