Force to use Wykes against Waratahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Force to use Wykes against Waratahs

16/04/2009 01:19:32 PM Comments (0)

Australian under-20s lock Sam Wykes has been given a big opportunity with a starting role for the Western Force in their Super 14 clash with the NSW Waratahs on Saturday.

Force coach John Mitchell on Thursday named Wykes, relegating Tom Hockings to the bench for what's certain to be a torrid forwards battle at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Wykes has had just 28 minutes of game time from the reserves bench in two appearances this year, having returned in week eight following a long rehabilitation from off-season shoulder surgery.

In forecast changes, Cameron Shepherd returns on the left wing after a three-week absence with injury.

The Wallaby has managed just four appearances for the Force this season due to repeated setbacks in his comeback from extensive ankle surgery last June.

His return is timely for the WA side with Nick Cummins sidelined for up to a month after suffering a hairline fracture in his lower left leg during last week's one-point loss to the Hurricanes at Subiaco Oval.

In the only other change to the backline this week, James O'Connor returns to inside centre to replace the injured Junior Pelesasa.

Western Force: Drew Mitchell, Scott Staniforth, Ryan Cross, James O'Connor, Cameron Shepherd, Matt Giteau, Josh Valentine, Richard Brown, David Pocock, Matt Hodgson, Nathan Sharpe (capt), Sam Wykes, Ben Castle, Tai McIsaac, Pek Cowan. Res: Ben Whittaker, AJ Whalley, Tom Hockings, Tamaiti Horua, Chris O'Young, Josh Tatupu, Haig Sare.

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