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Force open season with fiery contest against the Rebels

Western Force will open their new-look Super Rugby Pacific season with the blockbuster grudge clash at home against Melbourne Rebels.

The Force insist they no longer carry a grudge against the Rebels who survived Rugby Australia’s axe when they controversially chopped the Force from Super Rugby four years ago.

But plenty of fans are still dirty, have long memories and will give the Melbourne side a warm welcome to HBF Park on Saturday February 19 for the tasty starter.

The competition now has 12 teams, with Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua - who the Force play in round two - joining the five Australian and five New Zealand franchises.

The draw, unveiled on Monday, features 14 games during the regular season that includes 11 round-robin games and three special ‘rivalry games’ - the Rebels, Brumbies and Waratahs.

To read the full article written by Nick Taylor of The West Australian, click HERE.