A couple of drinks with dinner generally isn’t scrutinised. However, the Western Force have stood down two players for doing exactly that. ‘A few glasses of wine’ while on their flight back from Melbourne last week has resulted in two players being stood down.
Hooker Andrew Ready and winger Byron Ralston have found themselves stood down for selection in today’s match against the Reds. The two players have been made unavailable for selection as a result of the seemingly minor indiscretion of having “a few glasses of wine with dinner”. Nevertheless, the Western Force appear to be putting a stake in the ground in relation to their team culture and what is acceptable.
Former Wallaby and Western Force general manager Matt Hodgson stated it was a player-led decision. The players were not drunk but with the short turnaround between games “they shouldn’t have been drinking.” The Force are clearly trying to cement a winning culture after struggling for success so far in their 12 seasons of super rugby. They only have one playoff appearance in their history.
The Western Force have had a decent start to their 2022 season. A narrow loss to the Brumbies in week one was followed by a dominant victory over the Rebels in week two. They will undoubtedly want to keep up the good form in tonight’s match against the reds. You can find the highlights to last week’s match and the lineups for today’s game below.
FORCE: 1: Tom Robertson, 2: Feleti Kaitu’u (c), 3: Santiago Medrano, 4: Fergus Lee-Warner, 5: Izack Rodda, 6: Brynard Stander, 7: Ollie Callan, 8: Tim Anstee, 9: Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 10: Reesjan Pasitoa,11: Manasa Mataele, 12: Richard Kahui, 13: Kyle Godwin, 14: Toni Pulu, 15: Jake Strachan
RESERVES: Jack Winchester, Harry Lloyd, Greg Holmes, Ryan McCauley, Kane Koteka, Ian Prior, Jake McIntrye, Grason Makara
REDS: 1: Dane Zander, 2: Josh Nasser, 3: Feao Fotuaika, 4: Angus Blyth, 5: Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (c), 6: Seru Uru, 7: Fraser McReight, 8: Harry Wilson, 9: Kalani Thomas, 10: James O’Connor, 11: Josh Flook, 12: Hamish Stewart, 13: Hunter Paisami, 14: Jordan Petaia, 15: Jock Campbell
RESERVES: Matt Faessler, Harry Hoopert, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith, Tuiana Tualima, Spencer Jeans, Lawson Creighton, Mac Grealy