Foley faith high for NZ stoush
Luke Morahan will play his 50th Super Rugby match tomorrow in Dunedin as Western Force seek to tame the Highlanders. Pic: Getty Images

Western Force coach Michael Foley has named the same team that beat the Melbourne Rebels for tomorrow's Super Rugby clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin.

It is the first time in six games that Foley has named an unchanged side and means there is no place for Wallabies forward Hugh McMeniman.

Winger Luke Morahan, who joined from the Queensland Reds this season, will play his 50th Super Rugby match.

Morahan, who scored the second of his side's four tries against the Rebels, fellow winger Nick Cummins and full-back Jayden Hayward will be under pressure from a Highlanders side that played a big-kicking game in its matches against the Blues and Chiefs.

Foley stressed the importance of a good start against the Highlanders but needs his team to maintain its form through the whole match after it went scoreless in the second half against the Rebels.

"Our focus was to start the match strongly last weekend and it was pleasing to see the team do exactly that," Foley said.

"Our second-half execution wasn't as precise. It is important for us to back up with another strong start and look to improve on our execution into the second half."

Returned Highlander Kurt Baker will make his first Super Rugby appearance of the season in the New Zealanders' starting side.

Baker made his Highlander debut in 2012 before moving to the Crusaders last year. He will start on the left wing.


Western Force: Pek Cowan, Nathan Charles, Kieran Longbottom, Sam Wykes, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Angus Cottrell, Matt Hodgson (capt), Ben McCalman, Alby Mathewson, Sias Ebersohn, Nick Cummins, Kyle Godwin, Junior Rasolea, Luke Morahan, Jayden Hayward. Reserves: Heath Tessmann, Tetera Faulkner, Ollie Hoskins, Adam Coleman, Brynard Stander, Ian Prior, Zack Holmes, Marcel Brache.

Highlanders: Ben Smith (co-capt), Richard Buckman, Malakai Fekitoa, Shaun Treeby, Kurt Baker, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu (co-capt), Shane Christie, John Hardie, Joe Wheeler, Jarrad Hoeata, Chris King, Liam Coltman, Kane Hames. Reserves: Ged Robinson, Matias Diaz, Craig Millar, Josh Bekhuis, Elliot Dixon, Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker, Phil Burleigh.

The West Australian

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