The Western Force will have five Western Australian players take on Moana Pasifika in the originally Round 10 now rescheduled to a Round 15 match at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.
Head coach Tim Sampson has named homegrown talents Reesjan Pasitoa (flyhalf) and Jackson Pugh (number 8) in the starting XV, while Kyle Godwin, Brad Lacey and Michael McDonald are named on the bench.
Four changes have been made to the starting line-up for the Force’s historic first-ever Super Rugby Pacific match-up with Pasifika.
Andrew Ready starts at hooker, with club captain Feleti Kaitu’u poised to make an impact off the bench.
Veteran Jeremy Thrush earns a start after scoring a powerful try against the Chiefs at the weekend.
Winger Manasa Mataele returns to the wing after missing the last two rounds through injury, with Byron Ralston moving to outside centre.
Richard Kahui starts at inside centre, as Pasitoa moves to flyhalf, and Jake McIntyre switches to fullback.
Former Captain Ian Prior will lead the team out, as captain Kaitu’u and vice-captain Kyle Godwin start in the reserves.
Hooker Jack Winchester will step in as number 20, head coach Tim Sampson is confident in the 21-year-old’s ability to play outside his normal position.
“Jack is really looking forward to getting some game time. I’m sure he’ll do a good job for us coming off the bench,” Sampson said.
“With injuries to our genuine number 7’s that we can’t select at the moment, Jack Winchester is off the bench and will cover our 7. He is also a very good defender and a good on-baller.”