Prior gets first Force start against Rebels

The Western Force have named their team to play the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Friday with Ian Prior earning his first start for the Perth franchise.

Prior, who has been a part of each of the Force’s match day squads in 2014, gets his first opportunity in the run-on side this season, having already accumulated 37 Super Rugby caps for the Reds (six), Brumbies (25) and Force (six).

Towering lock Adam Coleman started on the bench in the Force’s past five matches and earns his first opportunity in the run-on side, packing down alongside Wilhelm Steenkamp.

Winger Patrick Dellit makes his return to the Western Force’s back three, joining fullback Dane Haylett-Petty and Nick Cummins, who scored three tries in last weekend’s victory over the NSW Waratahs in Perth.

The trio replaces Sam Wykes (ribs), Alby Mathewson (ankle) and Luke Morahan (hamstring), who have been ruled through injury.

Meanwhile, scrumhalf Justin Turner is in line to make his first appearance for the Western Force since the corresponding match in 2012.

His selection marks a successful comeback from a third knee reconstruction – the most recent suffered while playing for Perth club, Associates, in 2013.

The driven scrumhalf has already played 10 matches for the Force between 2010 and 2012.

Lock Phoenix Battye, who is capped 11 times for the Western Australian club, earns his first appearance on the Force bench for 2014.

The Western Force will be chasing its second victory over the Rebels this season after overcoming the Victorians, 32-7, in Week Four, and will be chasing its first win in Melbourne since 2011.

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says his side is determined to back-up following last weekend’s strong performance against the Waratahs.

“While we only had approximately 30 per cent of the possession on the weekend, the boys’ outstanding attitude allowed us to attack with our defence and capitalise on opportunities that came our way,” he said.

“Playing the Rebels at their home ground will be a challenge and separately, we’re keen to keep pushing ourselves to improve aspects of our own game.”

Western Force

1. Pek Cowan,2. Nathan Charles,3. Kieran Longbottom,4. Adam Coleman*,5. Wilhelm Steenkamp ,6. Angus Cottrell,7. Matt Hodgson (c),8. Ben McCalman,9. Ian Prior**,10. Sias Ebersohn,11. Nick Cummins ,12. Kyle Godwin,13. Marcel Brache,14. Patrick Dellit,15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Heath Tessmann,17. Tetera Faulkner ,18. Ollie Hoskins,19. Phoenix Battye,20. Brynard Stander,21. Justin Turner,22. Zack Holmes ,23. Chris Tuatara-Morrison

*starting debut (Super Rugby)
**starting debut (Western Force)

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