Star Kyle Godwin ruled out for Western Force
The Western Force's bid to create franchise history this weekend has been dealt a major blow after star centre Kyle Godwin was grounded by a knee injury.
Godwin has been ruled out of Saturday night's match against the Stormers in Cape Town, with his absence thrusting 20-year-old debutant Luke Burton into a starting role at inside centre.
Winger Dane Haylett-Petty (groin) will also miss the match.
Former rugby league back Chris Tuatara-Morrison will start at outside centre in his run-on debut, while Marcel Brache will shift to the wing.
In a dose of good news for the Force, in-form flyhalf Sias Ebersohn will play after overcoming the knee injury he sustained in last week's win over the Cheetahs.
The Force have already won seven games this season, and need just one more victory to set a new franchise record for wins in a season.
Burton, who has been selected in Australia's under-20 squad for next month's World Championships, is a talented utility who can play at either flyhalf or inside centre.
Force forward Ben McCalman said although Godwin's injury was a blow, Burton was an able replacement.
"He's been in the squad for a while now," McCalman said.
"He's trained well the last 10 days on tour, and he's right across what we want to do.
"He'll be playing under-20s later on in the year, so it's a great experience for him.
"The boys are excited for him.
"Everyone's across their roles. It's something we've focused on this year. You can see that by our results."
The injury-hit Stormers sit dead last on the Super table, but McCalman said the Force were preparing for a tough battle on enemy territory.
The Force's last visit to Cape Town ended in a 51-16 defeat in 2011.
"The Stormers have been one of the best defensive units in the competition for a number of years," Force coach Michael Foley said.
"As a consequence, our work on and off the ball will have to be first class on Saturday to get results."
WESTERN FORCE: Jayden Hayward, Marcel Brache, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Luke Burton, Nick Cummins, Sias Ebersohn, Ian Prior, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson (capt), Angus Cottrell, Adam Coleman, Sam Wykes, Kieran Longbottom, Nathan Charles, Pek Cowan. Reserves: Heath Tessmann, Tetera Faulkner, Ollie Hoskins, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Brynard Stander, Justin Turner, Zack Holmes, Patrick Dellit