By Nick Taylor, The West Australian
Western Force have received a boost ahead of Saturday night’s must-win Super Rugby clash against Queensland Reds, with captain Matt Hodgson fit to lead the side.
Hodgson took a head knock in the first half of the 40-14 loss to the Blues last Saturday but has been cleared of concussion.
The news is not so good for fly-half Sias Ebersohn, who left the field after 20 minutes with a torn left bicep after a tackle on Blues winger Frank Halai and is still in doubt.
Second-rower Adam Coleman, who failed a half-time concussion test, is still being monitored but looks set to play in the game at nib Stadium.
The Reds have to make two changes to their back line with Lachie Turner replacing Dom Shipperley on the wing and Samu Kerevi set to start in the centres in place of Ant Fainga’a.
Meanwhile, Reds coach Richard Graham, who controversially left the Force two years ago, believes dethroned Wallabies skipper James Horwill will be back at his best for the game.
He believes Horwill’s Test benching has helped the second-rower rediscover his best form.
There were doubts whether Horwill could reach the heights of 2011 when he was Australian captain as a string of injuries to his right leg, ankle, knee and hamstring took their toll.
Horwill was overlooked for Stephen Moore and then Michael Hooper as captain for the 3-0 series victory over France, but the Reds captain was inspirational in Queensland’s 36-20 win over the Rebels last Friday.
Matt Hodgson is exclusively managed by The Fordham Company.