Coach calls for high-pressure game from Force

Ben McCalman will make a welcome return to the Force. Photo: AAP Image
Ben McCalman will make a welcome return to the Force. Photo: AAP Image

Western Force coach Michael Foley has made two changes for tonight's round six Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin as he tries to avert a hat-trick of heavy losses on the team's road trip to New Zealand.

The Force was thrashed 41-6 by the Hurricanes in Wellington to kick off their trans-Tasman tour, and fared no better last week against the Chiefs, copping a 53-10 caning in Hamilton.

Don't expect the Highlanders to show the Force any compassion, however, after they kept the Rebels tryless in last weekend's 27-3 win in Melbourne.

Foley welcomes back Wallaby Ben McCalman at No.8, while Luke Morahan returns to the right wing after missing the first two games in New Zealand with a foot injury.

"The Highlanders play tough, smart rugby," Foley said. "Last week they had one linebreak but scored four tries, which is an indicator of how they vary their attack with ball in hand and kicking.

"The key for us is to consistently apply pressure across 80 minutes."

Tonight's other game will see the Lions host the Crusaders at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

The Lions have been one of the surprise packets of the 2016 season, building a 3-1 win-loss record before having a bye last week.

The Crusaders have the same record and will be keen to end their South African tour unbeaten after edging out the Sharks 19-14 in Durban last round.

No doubt the highlight of round six will be tomorrow night's clash between the Brumbies and Chiefs in Canberra.

The Brumbies have named an unchanged starting side to the one that edged out the Cheetahs 25-18 last weekend in Bloemfontein. One of the highlights will be the battle between champion Brumbies flanker David Pocock and Sam Cane, the heir apparent to Richie McCaw's No.7 All Blacks jersey.

ROUND FIVE: Tonight: Highlanders v Force, Lions v Crusaders; Tomorrow night: Blues v Argentina, Brumbies v Chiefs, Kings v Sunwolves, Bulls v Cheetahs; Sunday; Waratahs v Rebels

Topics:  highlanders super rugby western force

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