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Force swing the axe for Bulls clash

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/04/2016

Western Force coach Michael Foley has swung the axe for Friday night's clash with the Bulls in Perth, making seven changes to his squad.

The Force sit second last on the overall Super Rugby table after snaring just one win from eight matches this season.

Foley was critical of his side following last week's 49-13 loss to the Waratahs, and he's made four changes to his starting side, and three to his bench in a bid to end the club's six-match losing run.

Hooker Harry Scoble has been named for his first run-on start after impressing in the second half last week, while outside centre Ammon Matuauto will make his Super Rugby debut in place of Ben Tapuai.

Ian Prior returns from injury to replace Peter Grant (eye) at flyhalf, while former Wallaby Luke Morahan will start on the wing after recovering from deep vein thrombosis in his leg.

In the changes to the reserves, Guy Millar and Ross Haylett-Petty return, while hooker Anaru Rangi comes into the side for a potential debut.

Winger Semisi Masirewa has been dropped to the bench, while Tapuai and hooker Heath Tessmann miss out on a spot in the squad altogether.

"As a team, our opportunity to respond to a disappointing performance comes on Friday night," Foley said.

"Every person in the team cares, but the way to best show that is on the field.

"While we've encountered some challenges this season, it's important we look forward to attacking and enjoying every contest."

The Bulls have made two changes from their 41-22 win over the Reds on April 16.

Piet van Zyl will start at scrumhalf in place of Rudy Paige, while Hanro Liebenberg has been named at No.8.

The Bulls are in the thick of the finals hunt after snaring five wins and a draw from their first seven matches.

Force: Dane Haylett-Petty, Marcel Brache, Ammon Matuauto, Solomoni Rasolea, Luke Morahan, Ian Prior, Alby Mathewson, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson (capt), Angus Cottrell, Adam Coleman, Sitiveni Mafi, Tetera Faulkner, Harry Scoble, Francois van Wyk. Res: Chris Heiberg, Anaru Rangi, Guy Millar, Ross Haylett-Petty, Brynard Stander, Ryan Louwrens, Kyle Godwin, Semisi Masirewa

Bulls: SP Marais, Travis Ismaiel, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Francois Brummer, Piet van Zyl, Hanro Liebenberg, Jannes Kirsten, Lappies Labuschagne, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Marcel van der Merwe, Adriaan Strauss (capt), Trevor Nyakane. Res: Bandise Maku, Lizo Gqoboka, Werner Kruger, Marvin Orie, Roelof Smit, Rudy Paige, Tian Schoeman, Dries Swanepoel.

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