Western Force marquee signing versus Western Force recruit target.
Two try-scoring machines, the bulldozing Fijian Napolioni Nalaga and All Black World Cup-winning speedster Cory Jane face off when the Force take on the Hurricanes tonight at nib Stadium.
Jane was close to signing for the Force this season but pulled out at the last minute for family reasons. The Force instead opted for the giant Nalaga.
The expected physical game against the Hurricanes could suit Nalaga, who was often used at No.8 for his previous club, French Top 14 side Clermont, particularly if the Force forwards subdue their opposite numbers and prevent quick ball.
Coach Richard Graham has said he wanted Nalaga to inject himself more into the back line. He also wants his centres to straighten their running lines to create more space for the winger.
The Hurricanes may test Nalaga's covering ability with kicks over the top, but the Force will want to avoid kicking to Jane, who showed how dangerous he can be under the high ball with his man-of-the-match performance in the World Cup semi- final win over the Wallabies.
Captain David Pocock said the Force would need to watch Jane and left wing Julian Savea.
"Traditionally they play a pretty expansive game and they've got a pretty abrasive forward pack. You would expect them to mix it up," Pocock said.
"But their wingers enjoy getting the ball and on the counterattack they are one of the better teams. It's important for our wingers to get a lot more ball.
"Naps (Nalaga) has not had a lot of opportunities in the first two games so he's pretty keen to get his big hands on the ball."
The Force are also expected to target the Hurricanes' inexperienced halves, TJ Perenara, 19, and Beauden Barrett, 20, one of the youngest pairings in Super Rugby.
The No.9 Perenara will make his first start alongside fly-half Barrett in only his third run-on start in his seventh game.
The Force are assessing two players who have joined their training squad.Fly-half and Australian sevens rep David Harvey, from Sydney club Gordon, and outside back Tyrone Lefau, from NZ national provincial championship side Counties-Manukau, are expected to play for the Force A in the curtain-raiser against Sydney club side West Harbour.
Could Wellington's plan to help homeless beggars succeed?Vote
Copyright © 2013 Yahoo! New Zealand
All rights reserved.
Select your region to see news and weather for your area.