Wallabies enforcer Ben McCalman will return to action a week earlier than expected to help bolster the Western Force in Saturday’s Super Rugby clash with the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium.
McCalman was initially set to miss the opening two rounds after completing a recent playing stint in Japan.
But with Chris Alcock out for up to 10 weeks with a knee injury, McCalman has been named on the bench against the Reds.
Solomoni Rasolea has been handed at start at inside centre to replace Kyle Godwin, who is set to miss eight weeks with a knee injury.
Fijian-born flyer Semisi Masirewa will start on the wing in place of Marcel Brache, who committed a host of handling errors in last week’s 25-19 loss to the Rebels.
“It’s great to have Ben back,” Force coach Michael Foley said of McCalman.
“He brings a lot of experience to our side.
“As it is his first game back after a few weeks off after getting back from Japan, we will look for him to provide us with impact off the bench.
“Semisi was good for us in the trial matches and did well in his time off the bench last week.
“He is a determined guy and I’m sure he will be looking to make the most of his first opportunity in the run-on team.”
For the Reds, an ankle injury to Henry Teafu has resulted in Karmichael Hunt shifting to inside centre and Japanese Test player Ayumu Goromaru being named for his run-on debut at fullback.
Force: Dane Haylett-Petty, Luke Morahan, Ben Tapuai, Solomoni Rasolea, Semisi Masirewa, Jono Lance, Alby Mathewson, Angus Cottrell, Matt Hodgson, Brynard Stander, Adam Coleman, Steve Mafi, Guy Millar, Nathan Charles, Pek Cowan. Res: Heath Tessmann, Chris Heiberg, Jermaine Ainsley, Ross Haylett-Petty, Ben McCalman, Ian Prior, Peter Grant, Marcel Brache.
Queensland Reds: Ayumu Goromaru, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi, Karmichael Hunt, Eto Nabuli, Jake McIntyre, Nick Frisby, Jake Schatz, Curtis Browning, Hendrik Tui, Rob Simmons (capt), Caderyn Neville, Greg Holmes, Saia Faingaa, Ben Daley. Res: Andrew Ready, Sef Faagase, Sam Talakai, Ben Matwijow, Michael Gunn, Scott Gale, Sam Greene, Junior Laloifi.