Force full of belief ahead of Semi Final
The Western Force will take on the reigning champions ACT Brumbies in the club’s first Super Rugby AU finals appearance this Saturday night at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
Following another enthralling HBF Park encounter last Friday, where the Force made it three consecutive wins and sealed a historic finals place with the 30-27 triumph over the previously undefeated Queensland Reds, head coach Tim Sampson has named a similar squad for Saturday.
Argentinian international Santiago Medrano regains his starting spot at tighthead prop, while the in-form duo of Tom Robertson and Feleti Kaitu’u maintain their starting place in the front row.
In midfield, Richard Kahui moves from the wing to outside centre, with Tevita Kuridrani ruled out through suspension. Kahui’s superbly weighted grubber kick to tee up Jordan Olowofela’s match-winning try proved a game-changer against the Reds last week and his experience will be invaluable in the heat of the finals.
Jake Strachan makes his first start of the 2021 campaign, as the 24-year-old is named at fullback, with Jack McGregor also making the matchday 23.
Sampson is confident Strachan and the entire squad is ready for the occasion.
“Jake’s a very talented player, he has the ability to create something out of nothing. His nickname is ‘Silky’ for a reason,” he explained.
“It was fantastic to win at home and give our fans the opportunity to be a part of the history we created last week.
“We take momentum and belief that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can come away with the win. The belief has been there since Round 1, that hasn’t changed.”
The Semi Final against the Brumbies at GIO Stadium, which kicks off at 5:45 (AWST) this Saturday, is set to be another historic night, in what has been a truly special Super Rugby AU season for the club so far.