The Emirates Western Force have added four Wallabies to its 26-man squad for their two-match Super Rugby South African leg.
The Test quartet of captain Matt Hodgson, winger Nick Cummins, prop Salesi Ma’afu and flanker/lock Hugh McMeniman have all been included in the squad, as has former Hurricanes/Highlanders centre and off-season recruit Jayden Hayward.
The Force head to ‘the Republic’ with the 22-man list that went down to the Melbourne Rebels last night, with the exception of Phoenix Battye, who is replaced in the squad by McMeniman. McMeniman missed the match against the Rebels with a pectoral strain and will be gunning for his first appearance in Super Rugby since leaving the Queensland Reds to play in Japan at the end of the 2009 season.
Hodgson is returning from a minor hamstring injury suffered during the pre-season while Cummins, Ma’afu and Hayward all enter the side after helping Force A to a 23-16 win over Rebel Rising in last night’s curtain-raiser at AAMI Park.
The Force flew out this morning for Port Elizabeth where they will face the Southern Kings in the Eastern Cape side’s maiden Super Rugby match on Saturday, 23 February. From there the Force will travel to Pretoria to take on the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, 2 March.
2013 Super Rugby – South African Tour
Southern Kings v Emirates Western Force
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday, 23 February 2013
Kick-off: 7.10pm (local)/1.10am, Sunday, 24 February (AWST)
Bulls v Emirates Western Force
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday, 2 March 2013
Kick-off: 5.05pm (local)/11.05pm, Sunday, 3 March (AWST)
Emirates Western Force squad: Chris Alcock, Richard Brown, Nathan Charles, Sam Christie, Angus Cottrell, Pek Cowan, Nick Cummins, Patrick Dellit, Sias Ebersohn, Tetera Faulkner, Kyle Godwin, Jayden Hayward, Matt Hodgson, Kieran Longbottom, Toby Lynn, Salesi Ma’afu, Alfie Mafi, Alby Mathewson, Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman, Junior Rasolea, Mick Snowden, Winston Stanley, Heath Tessmann, Will Tupou, Sam Wykes.