Callan set for starting debut in Christchurch
The Western Force is just two days away from its Round 4 blockbuster Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash with the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions the Crusaders in Christchurch.
The Friday afternoon match-up at Orangetheory Stadium provides another stern test for the Force in their second fixture of their New Zealand tour.
Head coach Tim Sampson has made four changes to the starting line-up ahead of the encounter.
Homegrown talent Ollie Callan will make his Super Rugby starting debut against the Crusaders, with the Wanneroo junior named at number eight, as Tim Anstee moves to the bench. The back rower has seven caps to his name already, having made his debut last year against the NSW Waratahs.
It will be a momentous occasion for Ian Prior, as the club stalwart is set to make his 100th Super Rugby appearance on Friday afternoon, with the influential scrumhalf named on the bench.
Feleti Kaitu’u returns to the starting line-up, with Andrew Ready remaining in the match day 23. Jake Strachan starts at fullback, with Rob Kearney failing his HIA test after the Hurricanes game.
Kuridrani starts at outside centre, with Richard Kahui moving to the left wing, as Jordan Olowofela shifts to the bench.
The Force also welcome the return of Jake McIntyre after recovering from an injury sustained against the Highlanders in Round 2.
Sampson is delighted for Callan and is looking forward to seeing a more physical approach from his side.
“It’s great for a local lad who has come through our pathway to get an opportunity to debut as a run-on player against the Crusaders. He brings a lot of energy and he has no fear,” Sampson said.
“We’ll be looking for physicality, that’s the type of response we need on both sides of the ball. We need to be more aggressive.”