Ebersohn starts for the Force against Bulls

The Western Force have named their team to play the Bulls at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld on Saturday with Sias Ebersohn returning to the starting line up.

South African-born playmaker Ebersohn makes his return to the run-on side at flyhalf and will start inside the new midfield pairing of Luke Burton (inside centre) and Kyle Godwin (outside centre).

Luke Morahan will resume his place at his at fullback after recovering from a hamstring strain that sidelined him for last week’s match against the Melbourne Rebels.

Flanker Kane Koteka will make his starting debut this week after making his debut against the Hurricanes in Week Three.,

Koteka, the first player to graduate to Super Rugby from the club’s Future Force academy program, will run on for his fourth provincial cap having

The 21-year-old Wests Scarborough product will start as part of a new-look back row alongside blindside flanker Steve Mafi and No.8 Ben McCalman.

In the second row, Adam Coleman completes his comeback from a hip injury with his return to the starting XV, packing down alongside captain Sam Wykes.

Prop Guy Millar may be in line for his Super Rugby debut after being bracketed with Oliver Hoskins, while Angus Cottrell will start from the replacements list after missing the past two matches with an ankle injury.

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says his side is looking forward to Saturday’s challenge against the Bulls.

“While we’ve shown elements of what we’re capable of through the first part of the competition, it’s important we extend those moments through 80-minute performances,” he said.

“To a man, we all recognise that if we play from the start of matches with the same intensity and urgency we’ve seen as we’ve fought our way back into games in the last two weeks, the results will follow.”

Foley says Koteka’s starting debut is a testament to his hard work and perseverance.

“Kane has risen to each challenge he’s been presented with and Saturday night provides him with another exciting opportunity,” he said.

“While it’s great to see another local player progressing to Super Rugby, he’s earned each opportunity he’s been given and his performances to date should provide him with confidence.”

On the bench, former Bulls lock Wilhelm Steenkamp is set to make his first appearance back at Loftus Versfeld since leaving Pretoria to join the Western Force ahead of the 2014 season.

Western Force

1. Pekahou Cowan , 2. Nathan Charles , 3. Tetera Faulkner , 4. Sam Wykes (c) , 5. Adam Coleman , 6. Steve Mafi , 7. Kane Koteka , 8. Ben McCalman , 9. Alby Mathewson , 10. Sias Ebersohn , 11. Nick Cummins , 12. Luke Burton , 13. Kyle Godwin , 14. Marcel Brache , 15. Luke Morahan

Replacements : 16. Heath Tessmann , 17. Chris Heiberg , 18. Oliver Hoskins/Guy Millar , 19. Wilhelm Steenkamp , 20. Angus Cottrell , 21. Ian Prior , 22. Zack Holmes , 23. Solomoni Jnr Rasolea ,

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