Team News: Western Force vs Chiefs

Team News: Western Force vs Chiefs

Facing up against minor premiers the formidable Chiefs, head coach Simon Cron has made three changes to his starting XV.

Argentinian Puma Santiago Medrano returns to the pack after a stint on the sideline with a sternum injury. The powerful prop brings size and aggression against an experienced front row. His presence at set piece time and dominance around the park is welcomed in the season's final hurrah at home.

Towering lock, 26-year-old Izack Rodda gets his first start of the Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific season, after his first 35 minutes off the bench in Round 14.

Issak Fines-Leleiwasa moves to the finishers, with Gareth Simpson earning his fourth start this season. Simpson returns from a strained quad injury ruled out in Round 10 against the Reds.

Scoring two tries last weekend, impressive centre Sam Spink teams up once again with 84-capped Hamish Stewart, evolving in their mid-field combination.

The back three remains unchanged for the sixth straight week, including Manasa Mataele, Zach Kibirige and Chase Tiatia, with Toni Pulu named on the bench.

Force match day 23

  1. Angus Wagner
  2. Folau Fainga’a
  3. Santiago Medrano
  4. Jeremy Williams
  5. Izack Rodda
  6. Michael Wells (C)
  7. Carlo Tizzano
  8. Rahboni Vosayaco
  9. Gareth Simpson
  10. Max Burey
  11. Manasa Mataele
  12. Hamish Stewart
  13. Sam Spink
  14. Zach Kibirige
  15. Chase Tiatia
  16. Marley Pearce
  17. Tom Horton
  18. Siosifa Amone
  19. Felix Kalapu
  20. Tim Anstee
  21. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa
  22. George Poolman
  23. Toni Pulu


Named in the front row are Ollie Norris and John Ryan at prop, with Tyrone Thompson at hooker, while Laghlan McWhannell starts at lock again this week alongside Tupou Vaa'i who is back from All Blacks rest.

Simon Parker lines up with Ah Kuoi in the loose forwards, with Samipeni Finau moving to the No.8 jersey.

Named as halfbacks are two players with some of the highest passing accuracy in the competition. Starting is Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, who will play his 50th game for the Gallagher Chiefs this weekend, boasting a 98.6% passing accuracy to sit in fourth place on the table. One spot ahead, with a 99.2% passing accuracy, is Cortez Ratima who will provide impact off the bench.

In the midfield, Anton Lienert-Brown will captain the side from second-five with Alex Nankivell named at centre. Liam Coombes-Fabling will be on the wing with Etene Nanai-Seturo, and Shaun Stevenson at fullback.

In the reserves, Bradley Slater, Jared Proffit and Atunaisa Moli will get invaluable minutes as support in the front row, while Manaaki Selby-Rickit will run on at lock, and Pita Gus Sowakula for the loose forwards.

Making his return from a long-term injury, first-five Rivez Reihana will look to log some essential minutes ahead of playoffs, as will Lalomilo Lalomilo in the midfield.

Chiefs team to face the Western Force:
1. Ollie Norris (41)
2. Tyrone Thompson (12)
3. John Ryan (13)
4. Laghlan McWhannell (6)
5. Tupou Vaa'i (41)
6. Naitoa Ah Kuoi (45)
7. Simon Parker (7)
8. Samipeni Finau (28)
9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (49)
10. Rameka Poihipi (26)
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo (40)
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (102, Captain)
13. Alex Nankivell (67)
14. Liam Coombes-Fabling (9)
15. Shaun Stevenson (80)

16. Bradley Slater (47)
17. Jared Proffit (3)
18. Atunaisa Moli (54)
19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit (25)
20. Pita Gus Sowakula (65)
21. Cortez Ratima (22)
22. Rivez Reihana (8)
23. Lalomilo Lalomilo (1)

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