Western Force

Playoff places set as upsets mark Super Rugby Pacific final round

The 27-22 victory concluded a day of drama in the final round of the regular season and sent the Force above the Highlanders into the eighth and final spot in the playoffs.

The Highlanders only need to avoid defeat against the Melbourne Rebels in Sunday's last match of the round, however, to leapfrog the Force and earn a quarter-final fixture against the Blues at Eden Park next week.

Western Force too strong for Moana Pasifika

In a physical and high-scoring match-up, the Force proved too strong and clinical for the home side scoring seven tries to four.

Run-on captain Ian Prior praised the character and resilience of the squad. "It's no secret that it's been a tough couple of weeks, but I'm immensely proud of the group," Prior explained.

"This one is for the fans. They've stuck with us through the years, and we wanted to make our family and friends proud, which I hope we did today."

Moana Pasifika team named to play the Western Force

Over the 2022 DHL Super Rugby Pacific season, Moana Pasifika has had to play 4 midweek matches to cater for the postponement of matches due to Covid-19.

This has seen an incredible 46 players capped by Moana Pasifika this year to ensure player welfare is adhered to and the workload is spread evenly throughout the squad.

Manu Samoa stalwart and 40-test international Jack Lam will Captain the side from the back of the scrum in the number eight position.

Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Luteru Tolai and Chris Apoua will combine in the front row for the first time this season.

Western Force win after the siren

Centre Bayley Kuenzle proved the hero after the siren, with his 83rd minute penalty goal after 23 phases sealing a crucial 20-18 win for the Force.

The Force braved a frantic opening to proceedings in muddy conditions to open the scoring through former All Black Jeremy Thrush.

The veteran lock powered over from a rolling maul set-piece play in the 18th minute for his 11th career Super Rugby try.

Drua fought back to curb the Force's early scoreboard pressure to register their first try of the match through winger Vinaya Habosi in the 32nd minute.

Unvaccinated Wallabies lock Sitaleki Timani leaves Western Force

Timani was unable to qualify for a medical exemption and his reluctance to have the vaccine meant he couldn't participate in the upcoming Super Rugby Pacific season.

"I would like to thank the Western Force, my teammates and Rugby Australia for their support and understanding in what has been a difficult decision," Timani said.

"With the help of the Force, I am still consulting specialists but unfortunately with the season about to start I understand the position it puts both the Western Force and Rugby Australia in.

NZ teams go unbeaten in round one of Super Rugby trans-Tasman

Domingo Miotti missed a chance to see the Western Force to a home win over the Chiefs in Perth as they went down 20-19 while Noah Lolesio missed a similar last-gasp chance to earn the ACT Brumbies a draw with the Crusaders in Christchurch, handing the New Zealanders a 31-29 win.

The Blues, meanwhile, pulverised the Melbourne Rebels 50-3.

The trio of New Zealand wins added to Friday's success for the Highlanders, who outmuscled Australian champions Queensland Reds, and the Hurricanes, who beat the New South Wales Waratahs.

Western Force name star-studded side for their Super Rugby AU opener

The Force suffered a winless return to the Australian domestic tournament last year but have gone shopping since as they prepare for their first Super Rugby game in Perth for almost four years.

Wallabies pair Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies) and Tom Robertson (Waratahs), Argentinians Santiago Medrano and Tomás Lezana, and Irish great Rob Kearney have all been named in the starting line-up.

Wallabies centre Kuridrani exits Brumbies

The 29-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Perth team, where he will reunite with Kyle Godwin in a formidable centre combination.

Kuridrani, who has played 61 Tests over the past seven years, was a surprise omission from Dave Rennie’s new-look Wallabies squad for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup series and Rugby Championship.

He started at outside centre for the Brumbies in their grand final victory over Queensland on Saturday night, bringing to a close his 135-game career in Canberra which began in 2012.

Western Force legend named for first start of Super Rugby AU campaign

The inclusion of Prior, who missed the past two Super Rugby AU matches through injury, is one of seven changes – five to the starting line-up and two on the bench – from the team that faced the Melbourne Rebels two weeks ago.

The match also marks the return of Force legend Pek Cowan to the starting line-up. The 10-time-capped Wallaby prop made his 131st appearance for the club coming off the bench against the Rebels.

Force agree to be part of Super Rugby AU, door not yet shut on Sunwolves

WA's professional rugby franchise had been part of discussions with Rugby Australia throughout planning for the competition but earlier this month said they had yet to receive a "formal invitation" to be part of that competition.

The official tick of approval came on Wednesday from Force owner Andrew Forrest and is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to working towards a rugby resumption.

With the Force involved, Super Rugby AU will certainly involve at least five teams in a 12-week tournament kicking off on July 3 and running until September 19.