Force turn to Bartholomeusz

Former Brumbies ace steps in to replace Pretorius

Last Updated: 08/02/10 3:13pm

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Bartholomeusz: Joined Western Force

Bartholomeusz: Joined Western Force

Sky Bet

Western Force have turned to Mark Bartholomeusz to fill the void left by fly-half Andre Pretorius.

South African Pretorius was ruled out for the entire season after tearing a hamstring in training.

That has opened the door for former Brumbies No.10 Bartholomeusz to make his first Super 14s appearance in six years.

Bartholomeusz last played in the competition in 2004, helping the Brumbies win the title decider against the Crusaders.

Since then he has gone on to play for Saracaens, Ulster and Italian outfit Petrarca Padova.

However, the 32-year-old impressed in the trial victory over the Reds in pre-season - and is now set to face his former employers in the opening round of matches.

"Trials are trials and for getting your patterns in place and combinations together to get the running in your legs so that you are ready for Round One," Bartholomeusz told the club's official website. "Now that the real stuff starts we are all keen to get underway with that.

"If I do run out there in the first game obviously it's a little bit strange playing against my old team in my first match back.

"That was a long time ago now and a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, so I'm just looking to perform as well as I can for the Force and we'll be looking to take a step forward on what we put out on the park in the trials."

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