Western Force to tour SA

2006-05-26 08:16

Durban - The Sharks will be playing against fellow Super 14 team the Western Force at Woodburn Rugby Stadium on June 7 at 6.30pm.

This exciting news was released by Midlands Rugby Sub-Union (MRSU) president Hennie Laatz.

"Super 14 rugby team the Western Force are arriving in South Africa on June 4 for a three-match tour, which includes fixtures against the Lions and Blue Bulls, as well as the Sharks," said Laatz.

"After playing against the Sharks under floodlights at Woodburn on the evening of Wednesday, June 7, the Force will take on the Lions in Johannesburg on June 10 before ending their tour against the Bulls in Pretoria on June 16."

The Western Force, who gave a number of top teams including defending champions the Crusaders a fright in their first season in Super 14, are already developing their side for next year's competition.

Laatz said the side from Perth in Western Australia would be bringing their "entire Super 14 squad minus the six players who have been included in the initial Wallabies squad for the Tri-Nations series".

Of interest is that five of the outstanding Australian Under-21 line-up, plus the contracted players who missed much of the Super 14 season due to injury, have been added to the Western Force tour squad for South Africa.

"Obviously it is a quality side and the current Sharks squad, less the players called up to Jake White's Springbok squad, can expect an excellent contest, which should provide supporters with some exciting rugby," Laatz said.

"We, as the MRSU, are grateful to Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl for bringing the game to Woodburn, which, after all, is owned by the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union."

Laatz, who serves on the KZNRU executive, said that staging the match at Woodburn is in keeping with the rugby union's policy of spreading the game throughout the province.