Confident Force aim to test Blues

Getty Images

    20 May 2016     Getty Images

Coming off the bye, and having beaten the Sunwolves 42-20 in their last outing, the Force are welcoming back some key players from injury.

Promising young outside back Luke Burton is set to make his first appearance of the season from the bench after recovering from a foot injury while big prop Pek Cowan is also coming from the bench now that his broken arm has healed.

Coach Michael Foley said on, "We used the first days of the bye week to recover and the back end of the week to reinforce some of the positives from the Sunwolves match.

"In Tokyo, we played the type of rugby we've been working towards.

"The biggest difference came as a result of us focusing on enjoying the game and attacking every contest without fear.

"Without doubt, there have been times where our disappointment as a result of not getting things right has held us back, but I believe the boys now have not only a clear picture of the type of game we're chasing, but also the attitude that allows us to enjoy games while we continue to improve," Foley said.

The Force will be looking to pressure the Blues through their effective backrow of Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson and Brynard Stander. They were a key part of the Force's breakdown success before the bye.

Former Blues halfback and four-Test All Black Alby Mathewson who is second only to Hodgson in Super Rugby appearances for the Force will line up against his old team while partnering with first five-eighths Ian Prior.

Another key partnership will be the midfield of Kyle Godwin and Ben Tapuai, who are paired for the first time since the opening game of the season.