The West Australian
Force closer to pointy end
Western Force coach Tim Sampson has made three changes for tomorrow’s Super Rugby clash with the Waratahs at HBF Park.
The Force must win to stay in contention for the third qualifying final spot with Melbourne Rebels, at home to the Brumbies on Sunday, one point ahead of them heading into the penultimate round.
Sampson has brought flanker Tim Anstee, who scored the only try in last weekend’s 16-15 win over the Rebels, and No.8 Brynard Stander into the starting side.
They replace Fergus Lee-Warner, who is on the bench, and Argentinian Tomas Lezana, who has a foot injury.
Former All Blacks winger Richard Kahui keeps his spot after coming off the bench for Byron Ralston, who sustained a head injury against the Rebels.
Prop Greg Holmes returns to the reserves after recovering from a rib injury. Jake Strachan, who can play full-back or flyhalf, makes his first appearance of the year on the bench and centre Grason Makara will make his Super debut if he is called on.
Hooker Feleti Kaitu’u has taken a step closer to his dream of playing for Australia after spending three days in Wallabies camp with Anstee and secondrower Sitaleki Timani.
“It’s close to being one of my most memorable footy experiences so far,” Kaitu’u said.
“The dream is to hopefully one day represent Australia and play with that gold jersey on my back.
“To be named for anything involving your country of birth is a massive honour. Rubbing shoulders with experienced guys who have been there and done it ... the level of detail and precision required at that next level was an eye opener.”
Kaitu’u said victory against the bottom-placed Waratahs was non-negotiable.
“Last week’s game was do-ordie and it’s no different this week,” he said.
“We know the task at hand, we’ve got a job to do.”
Winger Jordan Olowofela, on loan from English premiership giants Leicester Tigers, made his first start against the Rebels.
“I’m loving it, the style of rugby is fast and attacking, hard pitches, fast pitches, not like the sludgy pitches in the UK,” Olowofela said.