Wykes starts for the Force against Brumbies

Veteran lock Sam Wykes returns to the side for his final Super Rugby match at the ‘Force Field’ (nib Stadium) when the Western Force tackles the Brumbies on Friday.

The twenty-seven-year-old will play in the Japanese Top League in the 2015/2016 rugby season but returns this week to start in the second row having already played 85 games across eight seasons with the Western Australian club.

Wykes will pack down behind Guy Millar, who earns his first opportunity in the run-on side, having played three matches off the bench this season.

The home side will also feature a fresh halves pairing, with Alby Mathewson back into the starting side, while Zack Holmes also returns to face the ACT side, where he made his Super Rugby debut in 2012.

Head Coach Michael Foley says the match will be a special occasion for Wykes and his teammates.

“As a team – players and staff – we’re very determined to finish our home season with a strong performance in front of our supporters ,” he said.

“Our ability to nail our attacking breakdowns against players that are highly active in that area will be key in seeing our attack convert opportunities to points.

“Friday night represents an opportunity for the team to farewell ‘Wykesy’. Wykesy has always given his all for his mates and our supporters. In most recent times, when asked to captain the team during difficult circumstances this season, he gave his all in accepting the responsibility. As someone who has immense respect for our supporters, the club and his teammates, Sam will be keen to rip in on Friday night, and I know the rest of the boys will be keen to do the same for him.”

Western Force

1. Pekahou Cowan , 2. Nathan Charles , 3. Guy Millar , 4. Sam Wykes , 5. Adam Coleman , 6. Angus Cottrell , 7. Matt Hodgson (c) , 8. Ben McCalman , 9. Alby Mathewson , 10. Zack Holmes , 11. Nick Cummins , 12. Kyle Godwin , 13. Marcel Brache , 14. Luke Morahan , 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Heath Tessmann , 17. Chris Heiberg , 18. Tetera Faulkner , 19. Steve Mafi , 20. Kane Koteka , 21. Ryan Louwrens , 22. Luke Burton , 23. Patrick Dellit

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