Force to unveil ex-All Black Kahui

Justin Chadwick
Former All Black champion Richard Kahui will make his Force debut against the Brumbies on Saturday

Western Force coach Tim Sampson says Richard Kahui will provide a touch of class along with a cool head when the World Cup-winning All Black lines up in Saturday's Super Rugby AU clash with the Brumbies.

Kahui, who helped NZ win the 2011 World Cup, has been named on the bench for his Force debut.

The 35-year-old has spent the past seven seasons in Japan, and has impressed Sampson with his level of fitness since joining the Force last week.

"He's in good nick. We've seen it, because he doesn't mind having his shirt off around the place," Sampson quipped.

But it is Kahui's coolness in a crisis and exquisite skills that Sampson is most thrilled about.

"He's got a touch of class about him," Sampson said of the 17-Test All Black.

"He's a pretty cool, calm character. That's important coming off the bench.

'Through that second half or whenever he gets on the field, to have a level-headed player like Richard come on hopefully will set us up to finish well."

Former Wallabies scrumhalf Nick Frisby has also been named for his Force debut.

Frisby, who made five appearances for the Wallabies in 2016, will replace skipper Ian Prior (shoulder) in the run-on side.

Former All Blacks lock Jeremy Thrush will captain the side in Prior's absence.

Frisby spent five seasons with the Reds and notched 66 Super Rugby caps before moving to the UK at the end of 2017.

Inside centre Henry Taefu has replaced Nick Jooste in the starting line-up, while veteran prop Greg Holmes is expected to miss several weeks with a broken thumb.

The Brumbies will be without exciting young five-eighth Noah Lolesio, who is set to miss the rest of the season with a serious hamstring injury.

But powerhouse winger Solomone Kata returns to the starting line-up in a big boost for the Brumbies.

Bayley Kuenzle has been named at flyhalf.

Wallabies prop Scott Sio starts for the first time in the competition and will partner fellow Test players Allan Alaalatoa and Folau Fainga'a in the front three.

James Slipper has been named on the bench.

Western Force: Jack McGregor, Byron Ralston, Marcel Brache, Henry Taefu, Brad Lacey, Jono Lance, Nick Frisby, Brynard Stander, Tevin Ferris, Henry Stowers, Fergus Lee-Warner, Jeremy Thrush (capt), Kieran Longbottom, Feleti Kaitu'u, Angus Wagner. Res: Andrew Ready, Chris Heiberg, Tom Sheminant, Ollie Atkins, Ollie Callan, Jacob Abel, Richard Kahui, Kyle Godwin.

Brumbies: Tom Banks, Solomone Kata, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Bayley Kuenzle, Joe Powell, Pete Samu, Will Miller, Rob Valetini, Nick Frost, Murray Douglas, Allan Alaalatoa (capt), Folau Fainga'a, Scott Sio. Res: Connal McInerney, Harry Lloyd, James Slipper, Ben Hyne, Lachlan McCaffrey, Issak Fines, Mack Hansen, Andy Muirhead.