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Where: nib Stadium, Perth
When: 08.40 (GMT)
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The Western Force will be hoping to end a four match losing streak to the Rebels in Super Rugby when they play the Melbourne side on Saturday.
The Force have played the Rebels six times since they Melbourne Franchise joined Super Rugby in 2011 and the Force have surprisingly only won once.
That gives the Force a record of winning just 17% of their matches at all venues against the Rebels. There have been no draws between the teams so the Rebels have won 83% of their matches against the Force.
The average score across all venues when the Force play the Rebels is : Force 26 Rebels 29.
This weekend the match will be played in Perth at the ‘Force Field’ (nib Stadium) so the Force will have home advantage.
The Force have had home advantage in three of the six Super Rugby matches between the teams and unbelievably the Force have lost every match.
The Rebels are therefore undefeated in Perth and have a 100% record. The Rebels have also won with a four try bonus point on their last two visits to the Western Australian city.
In Perth, when the Force play the Rebels the average score is : Force 26 Rebels 29 – the same as the average across all venues so the Rebels don’t mind where they play the Force.
The Force have been outplayed in their first two matches but last week against the Brumbies having made a poor start they won the second half 14-0.
Against the Waratahs in the opening round they were beaten in both halves so last week’s second half resurgence could mean they are finding their game.
Last week the Rebels played their opening match of the season and looked to be a hugely improved side. They maintained their attacking edge throughout the match and even scored after the siren when they could have kicked the ball out,.
In terms of selection the Force have named captain Matt Hodgson to play his 100th cap for the Force this weekend. Coach Michael Foley has tinkered with the forwards as Hodgson will be joined in the back row by No.8 Ben McCalman and Angus Cottrell.
Wilhelm Steenkamp comes in for Hugh McMeniman with Pek Cowan returning to the starting line up. In the backs Jayden Hayward takes over the fullback role.
The Rebels have made six changes for the match but most are rotations. Last week the Rebels fielded a team filled with debutants but this week the names are arguably a little more familiar. Probably the most significant is that Angus Roberts replaces Bryce Hegarty at flyhalf.