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Western Force coach Tim Sampson believes he has players capable of challenging for Wallabies spots, once they get the opportunity to shine in the Australian Super Rugby tournament.

The Perth-based club on Wednesday accepted an invitation from Rugby Australia to join the country’s four Super Rugby sides in a tournament scheduled to start in early July.

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In conversation with Schalk Burger

That means their players will have the opportunity to impress new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, despite not playing in Super Rugby before it was suspended in March.

“There would be guys within our squad who I think should be considered as part of a Wallabies squad,” Sampson told AAP.

“There’s some young guys who have done very well in the Australian 20s recently, who I think can’t be ignored.

“I really hope that we can get recognition and if our team plays well and also individuals play well then I’m sure that will happen.”

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With injured Jonah Placid the only member of the contracted 34-man squad unavailable, Sampson didn’t envisage having to look externally.

“That has been a priority to look after the guys we have currently contracted,” Sampson said.

“That squad of 33 leading into a 10-week tournament that’s a good number.”

Force was cut from Super Rugby after 2017 but have since played matches under the Rapid Rugby format.

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Asked how competitive Force would be, Sampson pointed to the fact that his players filled last year’s NRC-winning Perth Spirit side, which faced clubs stacked with Super Rugby talent.

“Some of those games that we played they had 14,15 contracted players and they were just missing their Wallabies,” he said.

While Force competed under different rules in Rapid Rugby, Sampson stressed his players had playing under the standard rugby laws in the NRC.

“There are some adjustments to our game we have to make but the players are used to it and they adapt pretty well,” Sampson said.

He isn’t fazed the likelihood of the Force starting the competition with a string of away games given the current travel restrictions in WA.

“I think if you embrace it in the right way in a positive manner that it can work in your favour,” he said.

“We had three and a half weeks away together last year throughout Asia.

“If it’s going to be longer than that, which we don’t know at this stage, that’s just something we are going to have to manage and discuss as a staff.”

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