Super Rugby: Western Force v NSW Waratahs preview
Last Updated: 11/04/14 4:34pm
Israel Folau: Waratahs full-back withdrawn by ARU after being named in starting XV
Western Force have the chance to continue their best start to a Super Rugby season against the Waratahs at nib Stadium on Saturday.
The Force have won four in a row and make only one, injury-enforced change to their starting line-up.
Solomoni Rasolea suffered a fractured wrist during last week's 32-29 win at Queensland Reds and is replaced by Marcel Brache at outside centre.
Brache will be making his first start of the season, while Chris Tuatara-Morrison is on the bench and will be making his Super Rugby debut if he comes on.
"We were extremely pleased with the result against the Reds - in particular seeing our whole bench close out the game after an enormous effort from the starting XV," said said Force head coach Michael Foley.
"Having said that, we acknowledge there were some areas of our game that need to be better if we're to get the result this weekend."
Folau pulled by ARU
Waratahs full-back Israel Folau will miss his third match in a row due to a throat injury after the Australian Rugby Union made a late decision to pull him out of the fixture.
The ARU's chief medical officer Dr Warren McDonald took specialist medical advice before making the call.
"Advice from our medical specialists is that Israel's throat injury hasn't healed to the point where it's in his best interests to return to play tomorrow night," said McDonald.
"This is a player welfare issue, which has been the focus of all medical staff involved in this difficult decision, and we'll continue to work on the plan for his return as soon as possible."
Rob Horne and Cam Crawford return on the Waratahs wings. Crawford, who underwent surgery on his left shoulder after scoring seven tries in eight appearances last season, gets his first chance of 2014 due to Peter Betham's broken foot, while Horne comes in for Alofa Alofa (knee).
The pack is unchanged after an impressive display against the Stormers last week.
Western Force: 15 Hayward, 14 Morahan, 13 Brache, 12 Godwin, 11 Cummins, 10 Ebersohn, 9 Mathewson; 1 Cowan, 2 Charles, 3 Longbottom, 4 Wykes, 5 Steenkamp, 6 Cottrell, 7 Hodgson (capt), 8 McCalman
Replacements: 16 Tessmann, 17 Faulkner, 18 Hoskins, 19 Coleman, 20 Stander, 21 Prior, 22 Holmes, 23 Tuatara-Morrison
NSW Waratahs: 15 TBC, 14 Crawford, 13 Ashley-Cooper, 12 Beale, 11 Horne, 10 Foley, 9 Phipps; 1 Robinson, 2 Polota-Nau, 3 Kepu, 4 Skelton, 5 Douglas, 6 Potgeiter, 7 Hooper, 8 Dennis (capt)
Replacements: 16 Latu, 17 Tilse, 18 Ryan, 19 Hoiles, 20 McCutcheon, 21 McKibbin, 22 Lance, 23 Carraro
Super Rugby 2014 Round 9
New Zealand legend Brad Thorn looks set to miss the rest of the season with the Highlanders after tearing his bicep.
Israel Folau fears he could be out of action for as long as six months because of his throat injury.
Lwazi Mvovo scored the only try as the Sharks beat the Lions 25-12 to go back to the top of the Super Rugby standings.