Top try scorer Byron Ralston back in Force XV

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Western Force have made several changes to their squad to face the Melbourne Rebels in their final Super Rugby AU 2020 match at Newcastle on Saturday.

The changes include a number of position changes in the starting XV, as well as the return of winger Byron Ralston, who was rested against the Brumbies last week.

Ralston, who is the Force’s leading try scorer in the competition with four tries, will start in his usual right-winger position with Marcel Brache moving in on the left.

The second change to the running squad is on the flank, where Brynard Stander replaces Kane Koteka, who moves to the bench. Stander is a regular number eight but will fit in comfortably on the scrum side and continue to make an impact when down.

Stander and his loose attacking partners Fergus Lee-Warner and Henry Stowers will ensure the back line is competitive in broken play as it has been all season.

Head coach Tim Sampson has remained confident with the tight five performing well over the past two weeks, bringing stability to the scrums and ensuring strong performances in the lineups.

In another change of position, Wallaby Kyle Godwin returns to his usual position at outside center after playing on the left wing against the Brumbies last week.

There are three other changes on the bench. At hooker, veteran Heath Tessmann returns to the squad after his last game against the Reds two weeks ago.

Young prop Dominic Hardman, replacing Tom Sheminant, makes his senior debut at Super Rugby level.

The latest change sees lock Johan Bardoul return to the squad in place of Tevin Ferris. Bardoul missed last week’s clash with the Brumbies and last played on the bench against the Reds.

To obligate: 15 Jack McGregor, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Marcel Brache, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior (c), 8 Henry Stowers, 7 Brynard Stander, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Pek Cowan
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Dominic Hardman, 19 Johan Bardoul, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Jake Strachan

Dated: saturday september 5
Location: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
To start up: 3:00 p.m. local time (06:00 BST, 05:00 GMT)
Arbitrator: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper, Amy Perrett
TMO: James Leckie

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