The Western Force will be aiming to win a franchise record four consecutive games when they take on the Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
The Western Force are confident they have enough depth in the back row to overcome the loss of key players Hugh McMeniman and Chris Alcock.
McMeniman, who has played at lock and blindside flanker this season, is set to miss around 10 weeks after breaking his collarbone in the win over the Chiefs a fortnight ago.
Alcock will struggle to play again this season after undergoing surgery to fix the shoulder he first injured against the Waratahs on February 23.
The Force are refreshed after last week’s bye, and will be aiming to make it a franchise record four wins on the trot when they take on the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Hooker Nathan Charles said the Force’s glut of back row talent meant they could cover for the loss of McMeniman and Alcock.
“Angus Cottrell has stepped up and played great rugby,” Charles said.
“Ben McCalman has been the standout for us. Matt Hodgson is a stalwart of this place and is still playing like he’s 18 years old.
“And Brynard Stander is the human missile.”
Charles will notch his 50th Super game for the Force when he fronts up against the Reds.
The 25-year-old only arrived at the Force in 2010 as injury cover on a two-week deal, and he said his chance at the Perth-based franchise came totally out of the blue.
“I was playing for Sydney Uni. At halftime I got the call to come off, and the following Friday I was playing for the Force against the Stormers,” Charles said.
“They’ve struggled to get rid of me since. I just love the place.”
The Force (3-2) sit in eighth spot following wins over the Rebels, Highlanders and Chiefs.
Taking on the Reds at Suncorp Stadium is normally a daunting task.
But the Force will take a no-fear approach into the game after beating the Reds there 19-12 last year.
The Reds (3-3) are led by former Force coach Richard Graham, but Charles said the link was irrelevant heading into Saturday’s match.
“That’s the least of our worries,” Charles said.
“There’s Quade Cooper, Will Genia – there’s a lot of other players to be asking about.”