Tue, 04 Aug 2020

Western Force starting XV unchanged for Reds

News24
16 Jul 2020, 23:42 GMT+10

In the only change to the match-day squad, lock Ollie Atkins, who returned to Perth in June, has been included on the bench in place of Johan Bardoul. Australian-born Atkins joined the Force from English club Exeter Chiefs where he spent the past four seasons and was part of the squad that reached four successive Premiership finals.

The 2m tall lock made two appearances for the Force in the 2012 Super Rugby season before moving to Edinburgh. He also represented Scotland A in 2014.

Sampson has kept faith with the players who did duty during last week's 14-23 loss against the Waratahs and will be looking for a strong performance from his team against the Reds.

The Force made a strong start last week and held a 14-7 lead at half-time. Unfortunately, they faded in the final quarter and allowed the Waratahs back into the game.

The mend from Perth have a proud record against the Reds and will be looking to build on the many positives from last week as they look for their first Super Rugby AU victory.

The Reds will provide a stern test after kicking off their campaign with a 32-26 win over the Waratahs and playing to an 18-18 draw with the Rebels last week.

Both Sampson and captain Ian Prior are excited to be returning to Queensland for the hotly anticipated match-up.

"We have fond memories of Brisbane and Queensland rugby, so to go there and get a win over the Reds would certainly be a nice feeling, it adds a little bit of extra motivation," said Sampson.

The skipper is expecting a fierce encounter on Friday night.

"Suncorp is a fantastic stadium to play at," said Prior. "It'll be special to play in front of family and friends again; I can't wait to get out there.

"They're coached by Brad Thorn who prides himself on physicality and energy. They've got a good group of young players that have been developing nicely, so it'll be a challenge, but one we're certainly looking forward to."

Teams:

Reds

15 Jock Campbell, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (captain), 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Scott-Young, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Harry Hoopert

Substitutes: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Jack Straker, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Josh Flook, 23 Bryce Hegarty

Western Force

15 Jack McGregor, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Nick Jooste, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Tevin Ferris, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Fergus Lee Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Feleti Kaitu'u, 1 Angus Wagner.

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ollie Atkins 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Jacob Abel, 22 Henry Taefy, 23 Kyle Godwin

- TEAMtalk media

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