The West

Western Force will be boosted by the return of key players as they head into a crucial three-game stretch that could take them to an historic first Super Rugby finals appearance.

The Force were missing 12 players in games leading up to the competition break for the Test series against France.

But coach Michael Foley is likely to have scrum-half Alby Mathewson, big-hitting forward Hugh McMeniman and centres Junior Rasolea and Marcel Brache available for Saturday night's clash with the Blues at nib Stadium.

"In the short term, for the first game against the Blues, we've got a few guys coming back," Foley said.

"Certainly all those guys should be available for that game, but nothing is certain until we get into the week and get the medical tick-offs."

Winger Luke Morahan, centre Kyle Godwin and flanker Chris Alcock may be ready in time for the next game against Queens- land Reds, also at nib Stadium,

Foley gave his side a few days off after its last match, the loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch, but the players were back in full training last week.

"The guys had a bit of a rest before coming back to train hard and last week they trained very hard," Foley said.

"You are in the middle of the season and the guys don't want to break to train, they want to keep going, but to have a rest initially was important for us.

"After we beat the Lions at home, after what was a long trip back from South Africa, to then be asked to do a six-day turnaround to New Zealand was always going to be challenging."

The West Australian

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