Shepherd back to bolster Force - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Shepherd back to bolster Force

Justin Chadwick 23/05/2011 05:21:38 PM Comments (0)

Fullback Cameron Shepherd has been given the green light to return for the Western Force's two-game Super Rugby trip to New Zealand after overcoming a niggling knee injury.

Shepherd has been out for three weeks with the complaint but will reclaim his place for Friday's clash with the Hurricanes in Palmerston North.

But the Force will be without prop Pek Cowan, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after fracturing his cheekbone in last Saturday's 13-13 draw with the Brumbies.

The 12th-placed Force have posted just three wins and two draws from 12 games this season but coach Richard Graham said there was no need to overhaul or abandon the game plan.

"Absolutely not. You need to go into the game with a clear plan in mind," Graham said on Monday.

"To throw everything out after 11 rounds would be crazy.

"We'll just continue to work at training with the focus on getting better."

Graham said his side's poor ball handling skills were the biggest letdown in the draw against the Brumbies.

"I think for us on the weekend just our handling, that let us down," he said.

"We weren't able to build any pressure at all.

"The conditions weren't ideal in terms of running rugby and we fell into that trap."

The Force, who take on the sixth-placed Highlanders next week, will leapfrog the 11th-placed Hurricanes with a win on Friday night.

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