British and Irish Lions 2013: Western Force branded 'disgraceful' by former coach for fielding weakened team

The tourists cruised to victory in the match

Former Western Force coach Phil Blake believes the Western Australian outfit should be stripped of future matches against touring sides after fielding a reserve team to take on the British and Irish Lions yesterday.

Force coach Michael Foley elected to rest key players for Sunday's meaningless Super Rugby clash with the NSW Waratahs, sending a bunch of untried and inexperienced players into battle and watching them take a 69-17 hiding.

Lions coach Warren Gatland was disappointed with the inferior opposition served up to his side, while former England boss Sir Clive Woodward accused the Australian province of treating the Lions with contempt.

It's understood Foley's decision to rest seven frontline players has caused a major rift in the Force camp.

Blake, who had control of the Force for the back-end of last season before being axed for Foley, is still close to a number of players and is upset at what transpired.

"It should never have been allowed to happen. The ARU shouldn't have let it happen, the (Force) board shouldn't have let it happen and Foley shouldn't have been allowed to do it," he told Sportal.

"They've been promoting the history of the Lions and what it means to everyone who plays with them and against them.

"I would have thought a potential win against the British and Irish Lions in your history books would have meant more than a win against a second string NSW side.

"Next time there's a touring side coming to Australia they'll jump up and down if they don't get a game in the west.

"But why should they get another game when they've treated the biggest game in their history this way?

"It's disgraceful."

Asked how the players who missed the opportunity to play against the Lions would be feeling, Blake responded: "They'd be gutted. If you're not playing Test football, to play against a touring side is a feather in your cap and something you look back on with great pride.

"They've been robbed of that opportunity."

Brumbies skipper and Wallabies squad member Ben Mowen agreed with Blake, adding: "I think that would be extremely disappointing for those guys. It's just a massive honour to be involved any time you get to play a side like this."

Foley defended his decision, pointing to a crowded schedule that sees the Force play his former team the Waratahs on Saturday.

But Blake is not buying it, particularly with the Force-Tahs match having no bearing on the finals make-up.

"Obviously if you look a little deeper he's (Foley) thinking 'if I can beat NSW then I'll get one up on them' but there's a far bigger picture than that here," he said.

"Half the blokes who played Wednesday are playing club rugby - they shouldn't be taking on the Lions.

"You're not really caring about the paying public because you are putting out a side that would struggle to beat a club side in Sydney."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee