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Izack Rodda set for first Force start this season against Highlanders

By Finn Morton
Izack Rodda of the Force during the round two Super Rugby Pacific match between the Melbourne Rebels and the Western Force at AAMI Park on February 26, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Wallaby Izack Rodda will start a Super Rugby Pacific match for the first time this season after making a successful return from injury in the Force’s historic win over the Crusaders in Perth.


Rodda, who has played more than 20 matches in Wallaby gold, came off the bench for an hour in last weekend’s historic 37-15 win over the defending champions at HBF Park.

The towering lock joins former Wallaby Sam Carter in the second row, while team captain Jeremy Williams will make a return off the pine after missing the last three matches through injury.


Last 5 Meetings

Average Points scored
First try wins
Home team wins

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Wallaby Nic White will continue as captain this week.

Marley Pearce joins Tom Horton and Argentina’s Santiago Medrano in the front row, while Sam Carter and Rodda will pack down as the locking pair. Will Harris, tackle-machine Carlo Tizzano and former Maori All Black Reed Prinsep round out the forwards.

Captain Nic White joins Ben Donaldson in a familiar halves pairing, while Hamish Stewart and the talented Sam Spink are the Western Force’s midfielders for this round 10 clash.

New Zealander Chase Tiatia, Bayley Kuenzle and 95-test Wallaby veteran Kurtley Beale are the three outside backs in the run-on side.


After overcoming the Crusaders last weekend, the Western Force have an opportunity to move up at least one more place on the ladder with a win over the Highlanders.

The Dunedin-based outfit are one spot about the Force, with only two competition points separating them.

Should results go their way, the Force could move inside the top eight with a bonus point win. This match will be played at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Western Force to take on Highlanders

  1. Marley Pearce
  2. Tom Horton
  3. Santiago Medrano
  4. Sam Carter
  5. Izack Rodda
  6. Will Harris
  7. Carlo Tizzano
  8. Reed Prinsep
  9. Nic White (c)
  10. Ben Donaldson
  11. Chase Tiatia
  12. Hamish Stewart
  13. Sam Spink
  14. Bayley Kuenzle
  15. Kurtley Beale


  1. Feleti Kaitu’u
  2. Josh Bartlett
  3. Tiaan Tauakipulu
  4. Jeremy Williams
  5. Michael Wells
  6. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa
  7. Max Burey
  8. Henry O’Donnell

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Abe 1 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

Not a fan of your picks. McReight is good at club level but he is too small for international level and has consistently disappointed there. Better to go for larger guys. Kemeney, Valentini, Hooper, Leota, Samu, Swinton, etc. Aalatoa and Nonga are woeful scrummagers and don’t offer much around the field. Wallabies will not win if the scrum falls to pieces. The fact that Faamissli hasn’t been developed is a tragedy. Need a scrum that doesn’t give away penalties. So looks like a Talakai maybe instead. Best scrummagers need to be selected. McDermott runs the ball too much and doesn’t fit into a structured attack like Schmidts. Gets isolated too often. Ok off the bench late but not for 60 mins. Goal kicking has to be one of the top 3 points for a 10 so that does in Gordon and O’Connor. Be better off going for lynagh on that front. Donaldson and Noah seem to be doing best of the established names. QC a better mentor type guy than OConnor as well if he’s playing. Daugunu has been the most consistent 13 and breaks the line a lot so must be in the squad. Joost has also been good. Richie Arnold playing well for Toulouse and is a preeminent lineout jumper so needs to be in. Latu also playing well for La Rochelle and is better scrummager than the Aussie choices so should be in. The big guy at the Tahs Amataroso I think it is needs to be developed as well. Otherwise the team will be too small. Hodge is a better choice at fullback than Wright. Latter makes too many mistakes. Not sure if Hodge available.

7 Go to comments
Turlough 5 hours ago
Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss

First of all: hats off to Toulouse an outstanding performance. Duponts kicking was phenomenal. Twice he challenged Keenan with amazing clearances from his 22 in extra time. Result was territory deep in Leinster half in the early part of extra time which lead to 2 penalties and the game. Remember also his two 50:22s? Now to Willis/Dupont. ANY slight isolation by a Leinster player resulted in a turnover penalty. How many turnovers in the Toulouse 22? Leinster’s defense was immense, they had opportunities in attack but they honestly looked like they had not spent enough time passing the ball in the training in the weeks preceding the final. Game management was poor. Toulouse’s scrum had crumbled. At 15-15 Leinster had a scrum advantage in a position that would be kickable for a scrum penalty. Leinster played on and missed a long range drop goal. You MUST take the scrum surely? Win penalty and its a shot at goal to win with time up. No penalty and you can attack and drop goal whatever. The distance from sideline penalties from Byrne was shocking. If you are kicking the line you must get close to that 5 metre line. How many times were Leinster forced to maul from 10-15 metres? Toulouse KNEW Leinster was going to kick and maul and clearly spent considerable training time neutralizing thuis threat. The maul was starting too far out, Toulouse were able to stop the heart of the drive. You must change tack and start kicking for goals. That said it always felt like Toulouse were the potent team on the day with Leinster under pressure and chasing. Even with their backline completely disrupted, Toulouse found a way. 9 Wins in their last 9 finals. Leinster will be there next year. But so will Toulouse/Northhampton etc. A great era of club rugby.

17 Go to comments
TRENDING Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss