Force Name Unchanged Starting Line-up For Reds


Western Force coach Tim Sampson has named an unchanged starting XV and made one change amongst the reserves for Friday’s clash with the Reds at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane @ 11:05 SA Time. The Western Force will be looking for their first win after losing their first game of the 2020 Vodafone Super Rugby AU against the Waratahs (12-23) last weekend.

Sampson has kept faith with the players who did duty last week against the Waratahs and will be looking for a strong performance from his team against the Reds.

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 where he spent the past four seasons and was part of the squad that reached four successive Premiership finals.

Both Sampson and captain Ian Prior are “excited” to return to Queensland for the hotly anticipated match-up.

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

“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,” Sampson noted.

The skipper is expecting a fierce encounter on Friday. “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,” Prior added.

Western Force: 1. Angus Wagner, 2. Feleti Kaitu’u, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Fergus Lee-Warner, 6. Henry Stowers, 7. Tevin Ferris, 8. Brynard Stander, 9. Ian Prior, 10. Jono Lance, 11. Brad Lacey, 12. Nick Jooste, 13. Marcel Brache, 14. Byron Ralston, 15. Jack McGregor. Replacements: 16. Andrew Ready, 17. Chris Heiberg, 18. Greg Holmes, 19. Ollie Atkins, 20. Ollie Callan, 21. Jacob Abel, 22. Henry Taefu, 23. Kyle Godwin.