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Stressed Force players told to relax

NZN 4/06/2017 Justin Chadwick

Western Force coach Dave Wessels hopes his players can use the Super Rugby break to escape the "emotional stress" they've been under all season.

The Force won't play again until July 7 because of the June Test window.

The extended break at the tail-end of the Super Rugby season has been heavily criticised by fans, players, and coaches alike.

Nevertheless, Wessels wants to use the break as a mental refresher - for him and his players.

The Force's future hangs in the balance, with either them or the Rebels to be axed ahead of next season.

The gravity of the situation has been weighing heavily on Force players all season, but Wessels has told his charges to try to forget about their troubles for a little bit.

Force players will get 10 days off, before returning for a three-week training block.

"The emotional stress of everybody - in some ways it's good for us to get away from that for a little bit, and spend time with our families," Wessels said.

"Just get away from rugby and try not to think about it as much as we can.

"Hopefully in that time we'll get more clarity. But I'm not really sure where that's at."

Wessels joked his first order of business would be to reintroduce himself to his wife and kids.

The Force's finals hopes are already over, and they'll play just two more games after the break - against the Rebels and Waratahs - to complete their season.

The Force were gutsy in Saturday night's 34-12 loss to the Hurricanes in Perth, dominating possession and territory for most of the match.

But the Hurricanes scored four tries within the space of 17 minutes in the second half to secure the bonus-point victory.

The Hurricanes' six tries took their season tally to 83 - eclipsing the previous record of 81 set by the Lions last year.

Force veteran Matt Hodgson will undergo scans on Tuesday after limping off with a calf injury in the first half.

Lock Adam Coleman copped a heavy head knock in the second half, but he's expected to be given the all clear to link up with the Wallabies' squad for the June Tests.

The Force have won just four of their 13 games this season.

On paper, it doesn't look pretty.

But the Perth-based franchise have been competitive in most of their losses, and they've also uncovered a host of emerging stars such as Chance Peni, Alex Newsome, Jermaine Ainsley, Billy Meakes, Richard Hardwick, and Isireli Naisarani.

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