Reinforcements for in-form Force
Ian Prior.

Western Force coach Michael Foley has made three enforced changes to the side that takes on the Rebels in tomorrow's Super Rugby clash in Melbourne, chasing a club record-breaking sixth consecutive win.

Second-rower Adam Coleman makes his run-on debut replacing Sam Wykes who has a rib injury, Ian Prior also gets his first start, stepping into the crucial No.9 role for Alby Mathewson who will miss the next month with ankle damage.

Paddy Dellit returns to the right wing. He replaces Luke Morahan who has a hamstring problem.

Phoenix Battye takes Coleman's spot on the bench with Justin Turner getting another chance at Super Rugby as the reserve scrum-half.

The match will be a test of squad strength but Foley is confident he has the depth to cover the problems.

"Sam is going to miss one week and we'll miss his experience, he’s been in outstanding form, probably career best," Foley said.

"But we're pleased to bring in Adam who has been on the field for large parts of the last two games and he performed particularly well."

Mathewson has played more than 100 Super Rugby matches and this is the first he has missed through injury.

"The biggest issue for us at the moment is managing Alby who never wants to be out of anything, he’s such a great competitor," Foley said.

"On the other hand Ian Prior comes out of two sides that have played in finals. He’s got some great experiences from the Reds and then the Brumbies.

"He’s as competitive as Alby and such a good team man, desperate to get on the field.

"We also bring back Paddy Dellit.

"He had a lot of experience on the right wing last year. He hadn’t played on the right wing before, he was mainly a 13 and 15, but he's comfortable with that.

"When we get bumps, and it’s inevitable, we can’t avoid them, it is great to have these guys step up."

The game is crucial to the Force if they are to become genuine finals contenders but the Rebels will be out to avenge the 32-7 flogging the Force handed out at their first meeting.

The Force only had 30 per cent possession in the win against the Waratahs last Saturday and Foley praised the sides attitude in the huge defensive effort.

"The boys’ outstanding attitude allowed us to attack with our defence and capitalise on opportunities that came our way,” he said.

“Playing the Rebels at their home ground will be a challenge and separately, we’re keen to keep pushing ourselves to improve aspects of our own game.”

A win would take them to the top of the Australian conference but the Force have not won at AAM Park since 2011.
They then head home to play the Bulls, at the end of a four game Australasian tour, at nib Stadium next Saturday, have a bye week and then head to South Africa to face the Cheetahs and Stormers.

Force starting side: Pek Cowan, Nathan Charles, Kieran Longbottom, Adam Coleman, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Angus Cottrell, Matt Hodgson (capt), Ben McCalman, Ian Prior, Sias Ebersohn, Nick Cummins, Kyle Godwin, Marcel Brache, Patrick Dellit, Dane Haylett-Petty. Reserves: Heath Tessmann, Tetera Faulkner, Ollie Hoskins, Phoenix Battye, Brynard Stander, Justin Turner, Zack Holmes, Chris Tuatara-Morrison.

The West Australian

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