No.10 jinx hits Force recruit on day one
No.10 jinx hits Force recruit on day one

The curse of the Western Force No.10 has struck again, new signing Sam Norton-Knight injured before he has even pulled on the fly-half jumper.

The former Wallaby damaged an ankle in his first training session, on Monday, after arriving from Japan, where he had finished his season with the Wild Knights.

He has had scans and the results have been sent to the Force medical team, who are in South Africa preparing the side for the tough clash with the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday night.

The full diagnosis won't be known for some days, but it was understood his ankle was not broken.

The Force, who have a bye in the fourth round before taking on the Reds at Suncorp Stadium on March 16, must be wondering how to throw off the No.10 jinx.

Sam Christie, who started in both games this year, is the 18th fly-half used by the club since the 2006 inaugural Super season.

Fortunately this year coach Michael Foley also has Sias Ebersohn and Kyle Godwin.

The Force came through a disappointing 22-10 loss to the Southern Kings last Saturday relatively unscathed, but Foley will not announce his team until late.

The Bulls will make at least three changes. Flanker Dewald Potgieter and Deon Stegmann came out of the 25-17 win against the Stormers with knee and hamstring injuries, and winger JJ Engelbrecht has a hip flexor problem.

Meanwhile Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has not been tempted to move Israel Folau to the wing for tomorrow's game against the Melbourne Rebels despite a scrappy display at full-back in his debut against the Reds.

Folau was well contained by the Queensland defenders, who rushed up on him before he had a chance to wind up.

"He himself would say he was only at half tilt compared to what he can do," Cheika said.

"He still beat a lot of defenders, but not in the areas that we wanted to. He's a consummate pro, so I'm sure he'll bounce back."

Folau will hope to match his performance against the Rebels in a trial match in Hobart earlier this month.

With Wallabies coach Robbie Deans on hand, the 23-year-old crossed for two tries and off-loaded for another.

Cheika, who will be looking to break a nine-game Super Rugby losing streak, has recalled Wallabies prop Benn Robinson to the starting side.

The West Australian

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