Wallabies forward Hugh McMeniman returns to the Western Force line-up for tomorrow night's clash with Super Rugby champions the Chiefs at nib Stadium.

With in-form No.8 Ben McCalman suspended for a tip tackle in the win over the Highlanders, coach Michael Foley has brought McMeniman on to the blindside flank and Angus Cottrell moves across to the back of the scrum.

It is the only change in an otherwise settled side with the same back line and reserves from the past two matches.

McMeniman, who has played 22 Tests, will be crucial in a game that could easily be decided at the set piece.

The Chiefs have the worst line-out in the competition and will come up against one of the best in the Force, but they have won more scrums than any other team.

McMeniman, who injured his neck against the Brumbies in the second game of the season, said the Force would use their set piece to launch their attack but was wary of the Chiefs' breakdown work.

"We've got a good set piece and we concentrate on that every week, but especially this week," he said.

"The breakdown is very important, especially against New Zealand teams. They attack it quite strongly.

"The Chiefs pose a big chall- enge. It's a chance to prove ourselves against the best."

Starting on the flank should give McMeniman more ball-carrying opportunities.

"There is more freedom and responsibility, getting round the corner and carrying, but we've got to attack them in defence," he said.

Foley said his team was relishing the challenge.

"The Chiefs are the benchmark side in the competition," he said. "The response of the team to the challenges of the last two weeks speaks volumes for the character of the group.

"We're learning all the time. Already this season our understanding of how to gain mom- entum, as well as our ability to remain composed when we don't have it, has improved."

The Chiefs have brought Mike Fitzgerald into the second row and All Black Sam Cane will have his first start of the season.

Asaeli Tikoirotuma reclaims the No.11 jumper, Mils Muliaina is on the other wing and Tim Nanai-Williams and Tom Marshall are in midfield.


  • FIXTURES *

_TODAY _: Highlanders v Hurricanes, Waratahs v Rebels

_TOMORROW _: Blues v Cheetahs, Brumbies v Stormers, Western Force

v Chiefs, Lions v Reds, Bulls v Sharks


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