Injury woes hit Western Force selection - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injury woes hit Western Force selection

By Adrian Warren 04/05/2009 07:27:42 PM Comments (0)

A dangerous tackle charge against halfback Josh Valentine and an extensive list of injuries is clouding selection for Western Force coach John Mitchell ahead of Saturday's Super 14 rugby match with the Stormers in Cape Town.

Wallabies representative Valentine will appear before a SANZAR judicial officer in Cape Town on Tuesday.

He was cited over a tackle on Bulls counterpart, Springbok halfback Fourie du Preez, late in the first half of the game which the Force lost 32-29 in Pretoria.

Force general manager of rugby Mitch Hardy will represent Valentine at the hearing (starts 1900 AEST Tuesday).

Mitchell will assess the fitness of several players before deciding his line-up for the match at Newlands.

The Force, who enter the penultimate round in ninth spot, five points behind the fourth-placed Sharks, are sweating on a number of injury issues arising from the match in Pretoria.

Wallabies centre James O'Connor hurt his sternoclavicular joint.

He will be checked out on Tuesday, along with winger Cameron Shepherd, who suffered knee bruising and was still pretty sore on Monday.

A spokesperson said there was a question mark against both Shepherd and O'Connor, while Wallabies No.8 Richard Brown reported ankle tenderness following the Bulls fixture.

In one piece of brighter fitness news, Sam Wykes will be available after a shoulder problem forced his late withdrawal from the clash with the Bulls.

Three NSW players, Lote Tuqiri (knee), hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau (ankle) and utility back Sam Norton-Knight (back) have undergone scans in Durban.

A NSW spokesperson said none had yet been ruled out of the game between the Sharks and the fifth-placed Waratahs, who are three points behind their hosts on Saturday.

Brumbies coach Andy Friend expected his lock Peter Kimlin to be fit for their clash with the Blues in Canberra on Saturday.

"He (Kimlin) came back from an MRI this afternoon and it's not a strain, it's just a deep cork so that is good news, which means he will be available," Friend said.

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