12 Feb 2009

Injury crisis hits Western Force

6:36 am on 12 February 2009

An injury crisis has hit the Western Force just as the dust settlers on the Super 14 rugby club off-field woes.

The former Waratah Josh Valentine and fellow halfback Justin Turner have been ruled out of tomorrow night's season-opening clash with the Blues in Perth with hamstring and back problems.

Coach John Mitchell, whio was at the centre of an independent inquiry during the off-season after players and staff alike made complaints about his behaviour, was already missing four players.

The Blues are missing the injured Rudi Wulf and Ali Williams while two other All Blacks Jerome Kaino and Joe Rokocoko are at home as their partners give birth.

Their new coach coach Pat Lam has given Tasesa Lavea the nod at five-eighth ahead of former Hurricane Jimmy Gopperth.