Perth - Former Springbok and Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant will make his first Super Rugby start for the Western Force when they tackle the Hurricanes in Palmerston North on Friday (08:35 SA time).
After coming off the bench in the opening rounds of the competition, Grant starts in place of Jono Lance who has gone down with a pectoral injury suffered in last week’s meeting with the Brumbies.
Meanwhile, Wallaby prop Tetera Faulkner has been named in the run-on side in one of six changes to the Force’s starting XV.
In a huge boost to the Western Force pack and front-row in particular, Faulkner has been injected straight into the starting line-up after recovering from a knee injury suffered in the pre-season ahead of schedule.
In further changes to the run-on side, Nathan Charles returns to start at hooker, Angus Cottrell has been selected for his first start of the season at blindside flank, Marcel Brache comes onto the left wing for Luke Morahan and Alby Mathewson will wear No 9 against his former side.
Head Coach Michael Foley said the clash with the Hurricanes is obviously an important one, with the team wanting to kick the three-week New Zealand tour off with a win.
“Playing the Hurricanes at home is always a tough match, but we look forward to the challenge and are eager to test ourselves against last year’s minor premiers,” Foley told the Force’s official website.
“The Hurricanes are a dangerous team with threats all over the park, but we will stick to our game style and focus on playing at pace.”
In the front row, Pek Cowan once again starts at loosehead linking up with Charles and Faulkner as the Force field their most experienced front row possible with a combined 232 Super Rugby caps.
The second row remains unchanged with Adam Coleman partnering with Ross Haylett-Petty who gets his second start after impressing in his run-on debut last week.
The formidable paring of Matt Hodgson and Ben McCalman make up the backrow alongside Cottrell who will look to make the most of his start at blindside.
15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Blade Thomson, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Chris Eves
Substitutes: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Loni Uhila, 18 Ben May, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Jason Woodward
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Solomoni (Junior Rasolea), 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan
Substitutes: 16 Chris Heiberg, 17 Heath Tessmann, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Sitiveni Mafi, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Albert Nikoro