Grant to have first start for Force

Former Springboks back Peter Grant will have his first start for the Western Force in their pre-season rugby trial against the Hurricanes on Wednesday.

Grant 31, who won five caps off the bench for South Africa in 2007-08, will start at five-eighth in the match against the 2015 Super Rugby losing grand finalists at Gosford on the NSW Central Coast.

With regular captain Matt Hodgson being rested, fellow Wallaby forward Pek Cowan will lead the Perth-based franchise.

The Force’s one World Cup squad member, back rower Ben McCalman, isn’t expected to be ready for selection until round three of the Super competition.

Two other backline recruits, Jono Lance and Semisi Masirewa, have been named on the Force bench.

New Rebels signing James Hanson will form part of an all-Wallabies front row in the Melbourne side to play the Blues in Auckland on Thursday.

The former Reds hooker will line up alongside Wallabies World Cup squad member Toby Smith and another Test prop, Laurie Weeks.

Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore and his Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano aren’t expected to be in the Brumbies squad for their opening trial in Wagga Wagga on Saturday against the NSW Waratahs.

Fellow Test player Matt Toomua is tipped to lead the side.

The Waratahs won’t announce their team until Thursday. But among those not expected to play are Wallabies Israel Folau, Rob Horne and Will Skelton.

The trio is recovering from injury but expected to participate in at least one of the Tahs last two trials.

Five-eighth Bernard Foley also won’t be playing as he is having a short break following an off-season stint in Japanese club rugby.

Speedy wing recruits Zac Guildford and Reece Robinson are among those who could well line up in Wagga.

Most of the Reds’ Wallabies are tipped to play some part in their first trial against perennial contender the Crusaders at Ballymore on Saturday.

Two exceptions will be captain James Slipper and prize recruit Kane Douglas, with both forwards on the long term injury list.

Stand-in skipper Rob Simmons is likely to play.

Carmichael Hunt is tipped to start at fullback for Queensland, though he may not play in that position through the year.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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