Sam Wykes replaces 'Madness'
April 12, 2013
Sam Wykes has overcome his own injury issues © Getty Images
Western Force lock Sam Wykes will fill the void left by Hugh McMeniman, who is set to miss at least six weeks of Super Rugby action after fracturing his left shoulder during the 30-23 loss to Melbourne Rebels.
McMeniman's injury is a huge blow to the Force, with the man nicknamed "Madness" arguably the form lock in Australia this season, but Wykes is ready to fill his shoes after producing several strong performances off the bench in recent weeks.
Wykes, 24, knows all about the frustrations of injury, having missed most of last year due to hamstring, ankle and knee problems, and he has taken a while to get back into full flight.
"I started the first couple of games and, in the second game, I didn't play that well," Wykes said. "I've been biding my time on the bench since. I'm just really looking forward to getting back out there."
The Crusaders will be without star five-eighth Dan Carter (hamstring), while forwards Sam Whitelock and Matt Todd have been rested following the recent tour of South Africa. In contrast, the Force are bolstered by the return of prop Pek Cowan and flanker Richard Brown after they were rested against the Rebels.