Pek Cowan hits the half century for the Force

Western Force is determined to make the most of a month long run at home starting with the reigning champion Reds on Saturday night (KO .  Following four of their first five matches away from home the West Australian’s now play four in Perth, a series that will have a significant impact on the shape of their season.

Coach Richard Graham has made a number of tactical adjustments while injuries from last weekend’s outing against the Rebels have also forced him to look at the make-up of the match-day squad.

Wallabies’ backrower Ben McCalman makes his return to the 22 after three weeks on the sidelines and will start on the substitutes bench with fellow international capped loose forward Richard Brown moving into the run-on side alongside the class of David Pocock and Matt Hodgson.

Experienced lock Toby Lynn will partner Nathan Sharpe in the second row after Sam Wykes was ruled out with an ankle injury while standout front rower Pek Cowan starts in his 50th match for the Emirates Western Force.

“It’s outstanding to see Pek reach 50 caps,” Graham said. “What is really rewarding for the organisation is that seven of the club’s foundation players have now achieved that 50 game milestone and have been able to contribute significantly to the development of this young franchise. Pek is in superb form and his improvement and consistency this season alone has him playing his best rugby.”

With young halfback Justin Turner (knee) and centre Will Tupou (hamstring) joining Wykes on the casualty list, exciting West Australian utility back Kyle Godwin has been selected in what will be his Super Rugby debut should he see game time.  Fellow utility Ben Seymour, lock Phoenix Battye and hooker Elvis Taione have also been added to the substitutes as reward for their efforts with the Emirates Western A, including last week’s win against the Rebel Rising in Melbourne.

Starting XV:
1.       Pek Cowan
2.       Nathan Charles
3.       Salesi Ma’afu
4.       Toby Lynn
5.       Nathan Sharpe
6.       Richard Brown
7.       David Pocock
8.       Matt Hodgson
9.       Brett Sheehan
10.   James Stannard
11.   Alfie Mafi
12.   Winston Stanley
13.   Nick Cummins
14.   Samu Wara
15.   David Harvey

16.   Elvis Taione
17.   Kieran Longbottom
18.   Phoenix Battye
19.   Ben McCalman
20.   Ben Seymour
21.   Rory Sidey
22.   Kyle Godwin