Team Announcement | Western Force vs Kagifa Samoa
Star West Australian winger Brad Lacey will miss Friday night’s clash against powerful pacific side Kagifa Samoa as he nervously awaits results of scans on a knee injury sustained in the opening half of last weekend’s win over Fijian Latui.
Initial indications are the 25-year-old may have damaged his ACL but the full extent of the injury is not yet known. Head Coach Tim Sampson said it is not ideal for Lacey who had been in strong form during the 2019 Global Rapid Rugby Showcase Series.
“It could well be a serious injury for Brad but it is important that we get the results from the specialists first and foremost. It is obviously very disappointing for Brad, but being the tight knit family club that we are, we will rally around him,” Sampson said.
With Lacey out of action, Sampson has looked to another WA youngster, Clay Uyen, to step-up on Friday night.
“Clay has contributed very well this year and has been a handful for the opposition coming off the bench. While we’ll miss Brad, it does provide an opportunity for Clay, and on home turf, I know he will be craving to put in a good performance,” said Sampson.
The front row has seen the addition of two fresh faces with Harrison Lloyd and Tom Sheminant set to play alongside veteran hooker Heath Tessmann, with Sampson expecting a physical encounter up front through the forwards.
“Lloydy is back in after getting over a calf injury and playing some solid minutes in Fiji. Tom Sheminant comes in to start at tighthead prop to allow Kieran Longbottom to come off the bench after playing a lot of minutes during the Asian Showcase Series and in last week’s fixture in Fiji,” Sampson said.
Tevin Ferris will make a return to the starting line-up at number eight with Brynard Stander moving to the bench who has also played a lot of minutes so far this season. Sampson said Ferris has been playing remarkably well and stepping up whenever he is called on.
“Tevin has been outstanding and is that hybrid type backrower, adapting well either playing at six, seven or number eight. Tevin will do a great job,” Sampson said.
After being called up from the Fortescue Premier Grade and making his debut for the Force last week, Rory O’Sullivan has maintained his place in the squad. The UWA Rugby scrumhalf impressed with his composure and adaptability and will have the opportunity to play in front of family and friends at HBF Park.
“Rory came on and did exceptionally well last week, his service from the deck was excellent and show some really good signs in all aspects of his game,” Sampson said.
“He is a very composed and level-headed player and he’s got ability so hopefully he displays much the same on Friday night.”
The team will be running on in the club’s gold and black jersey, which will be worn for the first time in the Global Rapid Rugby competition in recognition of WA Day.
A number of players will also be wearing unique painted boots, created in partnership with students at Guildford Grammar School’s Indigenous Program as part of the club’s Indigenous Appreciation activities taking place on Friday as well as to raise funds and awareness of the Earbus Foundation.
1. Harrison Lloyd, 2. Heath Tessmann, 3. Tom Sheminant, 4. Johan Bardoul, 5. Fergus Lee-Warner, 6. Henry Stowers, 7. Chris Alcock, 8. Tevin Ferris, 9. Issak Fines, 10. AJ Alatimu, 11. Clay Uyen, 12. Henry Taefu, 13. Marcel Brache, 14. Masivesi Dakuwaqa, 15. Jack McGregor. Reserves: 16. Feleti Kaitu’u, 17. Markus Vanzati, 18. Kieran Longbottom, 19. Leon Power, 20. Brynard Stander, 21. Rory O’Sullivan, 22. Andrew Deegan, 23. Rod Davies.