Wallabies prop James Slipper is bracing for an uncompromising Western Force scrum in Saturday's Super Rugby AU preliminary final against the competition surprise package.
And the Brumbies veteran is not at all shocked by the Force's late-season run which has propelled them into third spot and earned them a crack at the Super Rugby champions in their first ever final.
Slipper will oppose Argentina international Santiago Medrano in the front row, with Wallabies prop Tom Robertson on the other side of the Force's engine room. Ex-international veterans Jeremy Thrush and Sitaleki Timani make up the Force's second row.
"It's going to be tough, they've got a pretty good scrum," Slipper said.
"They've obviously got Robinson at loosehead. There's quality there and we've obviously got a strong scrum as well, so it sets up a pretty good battle up front."
The Force have notched consecutive wins against the Melbourne Rebels, NSW Waratahs and previously unbeaten Queensland Reds to land a shot at the defending champion Brumbies on Saturday.
For most of the season it looked as if the Rebels would finish third, but last weekend's toppling of the Reds has left the Perth-based franchise not only preparing for their debut finals bow, but dreaming of a Super Rugby AU championship.
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"It's funny, at the start of the year I had them making the finals, purely because of the players they recruited," Slipper said.
"They had internationals across the whole team. It was all about them, I'm assuming, just gelling together and just building that combination which takes time normally.
"That's what we've seen, a bit of a slow start from them but they're coming good now so it's going to be tough. They've knocked off the Queensland Reds who are on top - they're a serious threat and we're preparing like [that]."