Rapid Rugby Showcase Preview: Western Force v a World XV - Green and Gold Rugby
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Rapid Rugby Showcase Preview: Western Force v a World XV

Rapid Rugby Showcase Preview: Western Force v a World XV

The Western Force kick off their 2019 season with a hastily arranged match up against an invitational World XV outfit.  Billed as a Rapid Rugby Showcase, the match will act as a prelude to the recently announced 2019 Global Rapid Rugby Showcase which commences Friday week in Perth.

The Teams:

Force coach, Tim Sampson, has named a familiar line-up with the starting team filled with players who featured for the Force through last year’s World Series Rugby as well as the National Rugby Championship.   The team is again built around their backrow workhorses in Chris Alcock and Brynard Stander and their experienced halves in Ian Prior and Andrew Deegan.

The international centre combination of Henry Taefu (Samoa) and Marcel Brache (USA) are sure to be a focus of the team’s attack.  New recruits Andrew Ready and Nick Jooste, both most recently based in Brisbane, are set to make their GRR debuts from the bench.  Perth born Jooste joins the Kieran Longbottom  and Clay Uyen as locals in the team, while the likes of Brad Lacey and Tevin Ferris have come through the Perth system.

Western Force: 1. Cameron Orr, 2. Feleti Kaitu’u, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 4. Johan Bardoul, 5. Jeremy Thrush, 6. Henry Stowers, 7. Chris Alcock, 8. Brynard Stander, 9. Ian Prior, 10. Andrew Deegan, 11. Clay Uyen, 12. Henry Taefu, 13. Marcel Brache, 14. Brad Lacey, 15. Jack McGregor.

Replacements: 16. Andrew Ready, 17. Harrison Lloyd, 18. Chris Heiberg, 19. Leon Power, 20. Tevin Ferris, 21. Issak Fines, 22. AJ Alatimu, 23. Nick Jooste

The World XV will be coached by GRR fan, Robbie Deans and feature a few players with strong connections to the west. Former Wallaby outside backs, and Force players, Digby Ioane and Nick Cummins are sure to receive a strong welcome when they run out on Friday night. They will be joined by other Aussies including centre Dylan Riley, backrowers Michael Oakman-Hunt and Jack Cornelson and prop Tom Moloney.

Former All Blacks Andy Ellis, Corey Flynn and Wyatt Crockett are the stand out international names, while Gio Aplon, Leonardo Senatore and Kosei Ono provide further test match experience.

World XV Squad: Gio Aplon (South Africa), Yoshikazu Fujita (Japan), Nick Cummins (Australia), Digby Ioane (Australia), Jamie Spowart (New Zealand), Dylan Riley (Australia), Inga Finau (New Zealand), Kosei Ono (Japan), Leon Fukofuka (Tonga), Andy Ellis (New Zealand, captain), Leonardo Senatore (Argentina), Hugh Renton (New Zealand), Michael Curry (New Zealand), Shota Fukui (Japan), Michael Oakman-Hunt (Australia), Jack Cornelsen (Australia), Hamish Dalzell (New Zealand), Tom Moloney (Australia), Chris King (New Zealand), Shohei Hirano (Japan), Wyatt Crockett (New Zealand), Greg Pleasants-Tate (New Zealand), Corey Flynn (New Zealand)

The Players:

ForceRays10 - Copy

Jack McGregor back to repeat his NRC form

Jack McGregor – built his way into the season for the Force last year having seemingly taken a little while to adjust to the new team and a new position at fullback.  By the end of the season his play from fullback was equal parts threatening and composed.  Plays a 2nd playmaker role alongside Deegan to allow the hard running centres to run their attacking lines.  Definitely a player capable of going further in the game.

Nick Cummins – The Honeybadger last played for the Wallabies in 2014 and then had a few games for the Aussie 7s team in the hope of an international comeback.  Despite moving to Japan to further his career, Cummins is arguably the highest profile rugby player in the country due to his time on The Bachelor TV show. A much underrated player in his day, he was a fantastic finisher and hard worker across the park, it will be fascinating to see how much he has to offer these days.

The Rules:

A quick recap of the laws in play for this game:

  • Nine points for a try that begins within a team’s own 22m zone.
  • Kicks out in the full inside your 22m are a lineout to the opposition from where the kick occurred.
  • A 10/22 kicking rule. Basically kicks from behind the defensive 10m line (no passing backwards) that land and go out in the opposition 22, the kicking team gets the ball.
  • Tactical substitutions (max of 10 a match)
  • 35 minute halves.

The Expectations:

The Force have been training hard while they have waited for the season structure to be confirmed.  If the intent is truly to play fast and free flowing rugby they should win this in a canter.  Ben Darwin’s cohesion theory will be in full effect as the Force combinations remain strong.  They should be finely tuned from a fitness perspective too so expect them to blast out of the blocks early.  With rolling interchanges and a mighty impressive bench, they should be way too strong for a team that has somewhat recently come together.

In saying that, there’s no doubt that Deans will have the team focusing on fun footy as well, so expect some scrappiness as combinations struggle, but expect some fairly loose play as well. Will it live up the hype? Unlikely, but it should still be fun to watch.

Robbie Deans, Coach of Panasonic Wild Knights

Robbie Deans, Coach of Panasonic Wild Knights

The Match Details:

Friday 22 March, 2019

HBF Park (Perth)

Kick-off is 7:30pm local time

Broadcast details:

2230 – 0030 AEDT
SBS VICELAND and SBS OnDemand – LIVE to Eastern states only

Kayo Sports Live

 

  • Ron Moloney

    Thanks for the info Reg. With no Aussie Super teams playing on Friday night it will be a great opportunity for rugby fans to get their fix.

    I have found a few links that may be worthwhile viewing. Firstly an SBS link to view the Friday night match Western Force versus World XV:

    https://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/video/45667907652/LIVE-Rapid-Rugby-Western-Force-v-World-XV

    There is a SMH article regarding the axed Sunwolves becoming involved with an Asian Super Rugby competition partly funded by Twiggy and SANZAR

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/twiggy-to-the-rescue-for-super-rugby-s-axed-sunwolves-20190320-p515sg.html

    Finally a link which includes an interview with Twiggy about his vision for the future of rugby in Asia and why using Hong Kong as base.

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2018/11/15/rapidrugby

    My understanding is that Twiggy seems to have a good working relationship with Raelene Castle and Bill Beaumont but does not want to be bogged down decision wise by the Board of RA hence the operation will be based in Hong Kong. I hope he can provide an opportunity for the vast rugby potential sitting idle in Western Sydney.

  • RugbyM

    Thanks for the broadcast details. Had trouble finding them

  • Kiap

    WORLD XV:

    15. Gio Aplon* (SA)
    14. Jamie Spowart (NZ)
    13. Dylan Riley (Aus)
    12. Inga Finau (NZ)
    11. Digby Ioane* (Aus)
    10. Kosei Ono* (Jpn)
    9. Andy Ellis* (NZ, captain)
    8. Leonardo Senatore* (Arg)
    7. Hugh Renton (NZ)
    6. Michael Oakman-Hunt (Aus)
    5. Hamish Dalzell (NZ)
    4. Jack Cornelsen (Aus)
    3. Shohei Hirano (Jpn)
    2. Greg Pleasants-Tate (NZ)
    1. Tom Moloney (Aus)

    Replacements:
    16. Corey Flynn* (NZ)
    17. Wyatt Crockett* (NZ)
    18. Chris King (NZ)
    19. Mike Curry (NZ)
    20. Shota Fukui (Jpn)
    21. Leon Fukofuka* (Tga)
    22. Nick Cummins* (Aus)
    23. Yoshikazu Fujita* (Jpn)
    24. Kazuki Ishida (Jpn)

    * Test capped

  • Warcomet

    since its not on free-2-air, it will lose interest just like the NRC as no one outside Australia will
    get to see it.

    • Kiap

      This game IS on free-to-air and LIVE.

      It’s being broadcast live on SBS Viceland (i.e. SBS Two).

      If SBS is not free-to-air, then I dunno what is…

      Also streamed as per the write-up above

  • Gregory Parkes-Skell

    Pity they aren’t broadcasting via Twitter again this season. Thought it would have been a good vessel for international broadcast opportunities beyond FTA and streaming.

  • Simon Powell

    Great write up – thanks Reg.

  • Moz

    Thanks Reg, and loving the support! Hopefully the link from below works!

  • ForceFan

    Thanks RR – good to see the coverage for GRR – much appreciated by those in the West.
    Good hitout by the WF players. A bit rusty but bno more than Rnd 1 of SR.

    The experienced World XV team showed more cohesion than expected.
    Game enjoyed by ~11,500 rugby fans many of whom enjoyed the chance to get onto the field after the match and spend time with the players.
    Expect more to turn up for the kick-off against Hong Kong next week-

Rugby
@RugbyReg

The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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