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Super Rugby: Chiefs changes may aid Force hopes

Western Force need to beat the Chiefs on Saturday to have any chance of making the finals and the visitors' team selection could help their cause.

With top spot in the bag, the Chiefs have opted to make mass changes to their starting side ahead of finals, which could give the Force some hope.

It will still be a very strong Chiefs side that takes to the field due to the strength in depth in their ranks, but it is still a boost for Western Force nonetheless.

The home side have to win and hope that other results go their way if they are to make finals, so we could be in for a real battle at HBF Park in the final game of the round.

WhatWestern Force v Chiefs
WhereHBF Park, Perth
When22:00 (AEST), Saturday 3rd June 2023
How to watchStan Sport
OddsWestern Force 2.20, Chiefs 1.68

Do or die for Western Force

The mission is clear for the Western Force heading into Saturday’s final game of the regular season against the Chiefs, they have to win.

Western Force sit in ninth spot on the ladder and have to win, while they also need either the Queensland Reds or Highlanders to lose.

The Highlanders travel to take on the Blues, who sit in third place, while the Reds are also on the road when they face Fijian Drua.

It is conceivable that one of them will slip up, so it is important that the Force focus on the job in hand against the Chiefs. And it being the last game of the round, they will know exactly what is needed.

The Western Force have been outstanding on home soil so far this season. All five of their wins this season have been in Perth and HBF Park has become a fortress.

The Reds are the only team to have won in WA this season and home advantage is sure to be key against the Chiefs.

Western Force are also handed a massive boost on the injury front as Wallabies lock Izack Rodda is set to start after recovering from a foot injury.

Rodda came of the bench and played 35 minutes in last week’s 52-14 loss against the Rebels, so should be sharp and ready to fire.

The Force are also boosted by the return of Santiago Medrano and Gareth Simpson from sternum and quad injuries respectively.

Chiefs make 11 changes

The Chiefs may have made a host of changes, but they are still going all out for the win in Perth on Saturday night.

Last week’s win over the Brumbies guaranteed the Chiefs top spot on the ladder and coach Clayton McMillan says some players are in need of a rest following some ‘incredibly physical games’ in recent weeks.

McMillan has opted to make a massive 11 changes to the side that beat the Brumbies last week, so a host of All Blacks stars will get the chance to recover.

Props Aidan Ross, George Dyer, hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho, lock Brodie Retallick, co-captain Sam Cane, No.8 Luke Jacobson, halfback Brad Weber, playmaker Josh Ioane, winger Emoni Narawa and fullback Damian McKenzie are among the players rested.

Force coach Simon Cron has played down the changes and says whatever side the Chiefs put out will be extremely strong and difficult to beat.

Cron says there will be no complacency, while McMillan says although they do not need the points, the Chiefs' pride is on the line and he wants a top performance.

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