Australian Rugby - Western Force v British & Irish Lions
Rested Force will be ready to rumble
May 27, 2013
Ben McCalman led the charge against the Highlanders © Getty Images
The Force have travelled from Perth to Wellington to Canberra to Perth to Pukekohe and back to Perth over the six past weeks, and the gruelling schedule has taken a toll even though they defeated the last-placed Highlanders on Saturday to all-but assure they avoid the wooden spoon.
Hodgson said the 11-day break before taking on the Lions would give the group a much-needed rest before featuring in what would be a career highlight for many of the players.
"I don't think there will be anyone struggling to get up for the Lions game, that's for sure," Hodgson said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It will be good to get a bit of rest into the boys, have a couple of days off. But come Wednesday week, we'll be ready to go again. The whole squad's excited."
The Force face New South Wales Waratahs just four days after taking on the Lions, leaving coach Michael Foley to juggle his squad carefully over the two games. The Force will be granted permission to draft players from outside their squad to top up their team for the Lions match, due to the tricky schedule, but Wallabies winger Nick Cummins, who missed the win over the Highlanders after his troublesome knee flared up, is expected to be fit to take on the tourists.
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Western Force rumbled over the Highlanders (video available only in Australia)