McMeniman set to return for Force
February 12, 2014
Hugh McMeniman makes his long-awaited return from injury in Friday night © Getty Images
Western Force forward Hugh McMeniman is set to return from a shoulder injury this Friday in the club's final Super Rugby trials against the Pampas XV and Samoa A at nib Stadium. McMeniman, who underwent shoulder surgery during 2013, is set to start at lock during the Force A match against Samoa A, with the Western Force to tackle Argentina's Pampas XV in the main game.
The Western Force starting XV is set to feature five of the squad's new recruits, including home-grown Perth products Ollie Hoskins and Zack Holmes, former Emerging Springbok lock Wilhelm Steenkamp, former Western Province outside back Marcel Brache and ex-Queensland Reds and Wallabies flyer Luke Morahan, who scored a double in last week's trial win over Samoa A.
Matt Hodgson will captain the side that also features Wallabies No.8 Ben McCalman and winger Nick Cummins. The Force will be looking to build upon last week's 69-3 win over Samoa A as they take to the newly resurfaced nib Stadium for the first time in 2014.
The Pampas XV will use the match as part of their preparations for the 2014 Pacific Nations Cup, with their 30-man squad including 18 players with Test experience.
Western Force coach Michael Foley says both the Pampas XV and Samoa A will provide strong competition for the club ahead of its opening match of the Super Rugby season against the New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney on Sunday, February 23.
"Last week was a good start and it's important that we step it up again this week," he said. "We're most pleased with the discipline we displayed under challenging circumstances. There were noticeable improvements in our contact and game understanding, and it's important we continue to focus on the detail required to ensure we're making the most of the opportunities we create. While our attitude in defence was very good, we appreciate that the Pampas XV and Samoa A, with a game under their belt, will pose a far greater challenge this week."
Western Force: Luke Morahan; Marcel Brache, Junior Rasolea, Kyle Godwin, Nick Cummins; Zack Holmes, Alby Mathewson; Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson (captain), Angus Cottrell; Wilhelm Steenkamp, Sam Wykes; Kieran Longbottom/Ollie Hoskins, Nathan Charles, Tetera Faulkner
Western Force A: Jayden Hayward; Patrick Dellit, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Luke Burton, Ed Stubbs; Sias Ebersohn, Ian Prior; Brynard Stander, Chris Alcock, Rory Walton; Phoenix Battye, Hugh McMeniman; Salesi Manu, Heath Tessmann (captain), Pek Cowan
Replacements: Robbie Abel, Francois van Wyk, Chris Heiberg, Bruce Smith-Wright, Corey Thomas, Richard Hardwick, Kane Koteka, Ryan Louwrens, Dillyn Leyds, Brad Lacey, Dylan Sage, Dane Haylett-Petty
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