The Western Force have called up Perth Gold players Aisake Meo and Chris Miller for their last regular season game of the NRC season against Sydney.
Palmyra’s Chris Miller has already had his short Western Force debut running on at the back end of round four’s Force clash against Canberra.
The speedy winger will look to make more of an impact this week in the absence of UWA’s Leon Feke who had been playing regular minutes for the Force.
Meo, a West Scarborough product was one of the top backrow players in the NRCII competition and has been regularly training with the Western Force since his selection in the wider squad.
Now off the back of some consistent performances, Meo has been called up to sit on the bench for the Force with a potential NRC debut on the horizon.
Western Force Head Coach Tim Sampson outlined the new found depth in the squad praising the NRCII competition and the club rugby system for preparing his backup players.
“It’s a great reward for these players who have had very good club seasons with their respective clubs, but also recently with the Perth Gold side in Adelaide where they played exceptionally well,” Sampson said.
“They have been part of our wider team for a while now and they are very talented, so hopefully they get some good minutes and I am pretty excited to see them out there.”
Following a close win against Brisbane City last weekend the Western Force now have the opportunity to secure the NRC minor premiership with a win this weekend.
Head coach Tim Sampson knows the importance of a strong finish to the season after a dominant performance has the Force on top with five wins from the six rounds.
“Leading into a semi-final it is always important to continue winning, we took pretty big strides forward last weekend after our defeat the previous weekend to the NSW Country Eagles,” Sampson said.
“It would be a good reward to come away with the minor premiership, but we don’t sit on our heals and pat ourselves on the back, we know what lies ahead and the reality of finishing the job.”
Captain Ian Prior, Number 8 Brynard Stander and utility back Nick Jooste are all unavailable this weekend due to injury. Prior is recovering well after surgery on a broken wrist, while scans suggest Stander (knee) and Jooste (shoulder) will both make a return in the finals.
West Australian local and 2018 Matt Hodgson Rising Star medallist, Tevin Ferris, will start in the Number 8 position. Wests Scarborough’s Chris Tuatara-Morrison will run-on wearing the 12 jersey with the in-form Issak Fines starting as scrumhalf.
The reserves have been further bolstered with the addition of UWA scrum-half Rory O’Sullivan as well as youngster Ben Grant who re-joins the 23 for Johan Bardoul who will miss the remainder of the NRC season due to a serious hamstring injury.
The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports from 9am AWST and streamed on KAYO and rugby.com.au.
Western Force team to take on Sydney