Force to unveil new run-and-stun tactics

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Force to unveil new run-and-stun tactics

They’re not going to be as fast as a speeding bullet, but Western Force coach Michael Foley hopes his team’s new up-tempo style will eventually lead to Super Rugby glory.

Foley has overhauled his tactics in the wake of last season’s wooden-spoon campaign.

Instead of relying almost predominantly on defensive grit, Foley has given his players the green light to showcase their attacking flair this season.

Bravery is the theme for the Force in 2016, and Foley hopes it will result in a glut of tries.

The new attacking game style will be given an early test in Saturday night’s season opener against the Melbourne Rebels at nib Stadium.

“We want to score more tries. To do that, the first step is to play faster,” Foley said on Friday.

“It’s not based on some sort of fanciful idea of winning hearts and minds.

“It’s based on what we think will win us more games, and eventually lead to hopefully the team winning a championship.

“It won’t always work, but we’ve got to be brave. We can’t veer away from it.”

Foley said the tactical overhaul was the result of consulting the entire playing group about what was needed to guide the club on the path to title success.

The overall response was to unleash the shackles and give the backline more freedom to attack.

The recruitment of former Queensland duo Ben Tapuai and Jono Lance will help with the flair, but Foley stresses it is important for his team to also retain their defensive grit.

The Rebels will enter Saturday’s match without new skipper Nic Stirzaker, who has failed to overcome a shoulder injury.

But the inclusion of All Blacks flanker Adam Thomson has given the Rebels massive firepower in the back row.

The Force’s own enforcer – Ben McCalman – will miss the opening two rounds after completing a recent playing stint in Japan.

The Rebels posted a club-record seven wins last season, with coach Tony McGahan attempting to guide his team into a maiden playoff appearance this year.

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