Force set for England tour

Super 14 outfit Western Force will face Guinness Premiership quartet Newcastle Falcons, Saracens, Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers as part of a five-week development tour in August, the Australian side have announced.

A 28-man squad, to be announced in July, will depart Perth on July 31 and will open the six-match tour against the Falcons at Kingston Park on August 8.

After a mid-week clash with the Saracens Academy, the Force will take on the Eddie Jones-led Saracens at Old Albanians on August 16 before facing the Northampton Academy team.

The tour will then climax with matches against recently promoted League One champions Northampton on August 27 and the Tigers three days later before the Force return to Perth on September 3.

“The touring squad will consist of any RugbyWA contracted players not involved with the Wallabies, plus a handful of our academy players,” said coach John Mitchell.

“The team will travel as the Emirates Western Force and will wear the Emirates Western Force jersey. We are going on this tour with the intentions of developing our game and to perform well in preparation for the 2009 Super 14 season.

“We are expecting the English teams to field strong sides. These will be important pre-season trial matches for each of these teams and they will be just as serious as we are about performing well.”

Last season the Force finished 8th in the 14 team Super 14.