Unfancied Force still without Rob Kearney

The Western Force have copped two heavy losses to the Brumbies this season but the underdogs are confident of turning the tables in the Super Rugby finals.

The Western Force will again be without star fullback Rob Kearney when they attempt to buck the odds in Saturday night's semi-final clash with the Brumbies in Canberra.

Kearney hasn't played since injuring his adductor on March 20 and was a late scratching from last week's pulsating 30-27 win over the ladder-leading Queensland Reds.

Force coach Tim Sampson was confident Kearney would get up for the semi-final, but the 98-Test veteran has failed to prove his fitness.

In a surprise move, Jake Strachan was named at fullback for his first start of the season with Jack McGregor relegated to the bench despite a series of impressive displays.

World Cup-winning All Black Richard Kahui has replaced the suspended Tevita Kuridrani at outside centre, while Argentinian international Santiago Medrano regains his starting spot at tighthead prop.

The Brumbies will welcome back Wallabies quartet James Slipper, Nic White, Pete Samu and Irae Simone into the starting line-up.

The Force will enter the match as rank $6 outsiders, especially after being battered by the Brumbies twice already this Super Rugby AU season.

The Perth-based franchise has a horrible record in Canberra, having won just two of their 11 games in the nation's capital.

But Kahui, who was part of New Zealand's triumph at the 2011 World Cup, feels the Force have what it takes to get the job done.

"I think we've been at $6 (to win games) all year. Whether it's $15 or $20, it doesn't really matter to the group," Kahui said.

"We can't bet on ourselves anyway, otherwise we would.

"But the $6 - if that's what people think, that's fine. I can understand why.

"We are playing the reigning champions, they're at home, success is in their DNA. Being the underdog, it doesn't bother me.

"We're at a point now where I think we're every chance of beating the Brumbies."

The Force's last visit to Canberra in March made for ugly reading.

The Brumbies led 28-0 at halftime before cruising to the 42-14 victory.

The loss proved to be a major turning point for the Force, reeling off thrilling victories over the Melbourne Rebels, the NSW Waratahs and the Queensland Reds after that to secure a maiden finals appearance.

Each of those three victories went down to the wire and the Force held firm each time in a show of their growing maturity.

Force: Jake Strachan, Toni Pulu, Richard Kahui, Kyle Godwin (capt), Jordan Olowofela, Domingo Miotti, Tomas Cubelli, Brynard Stander, Kane Koteka, Fergus Lee-Warner, Sitaleki Timani, Jeremy Thrush, Santiago Medrano, Feleti Kaitu'u, Tom Robertson. Res: Andrew Ready, Angus Wagner, Greg Holmes, Ryan McCauley, Tim Anstee, Ian Prior, Henry Taefu, Jack McGregor

Brumbies: .Tom Banks, Andy Muirhead, Len Ikitau, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Nic White, Pete Samu, Rory Scot, Rob Veletini, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa (capt), Folau Fainga'a, James Slipper. Res: Lachlan Lonergan, Scott Sio, Tom Ross, Nick Frost, Luke Reimer, Ryan Lonergan, Reesjan Pasitoa, Mack Hansen.