Experienced scrumhalf, Ian Prior, will captain the 23-man Perth Spirit side traveling to take on the second-placed Sydney Stars at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday, 5 September. The Western Australia team will be on the hunt for their first victory of the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) hitting the road for the second time this season.
Spirit head coach Tai McIsaac continues to blood new faces in the competition, making seven changes to the run-on-XV that fell to the North Harbour Rays last round at McGillivray Oval.
The front-row will look to add to its dominant scrum performance last round with Oliver Hoskins coming back into the number three jersey.
Australian Under 20’s representative and Wests Scarborough product, Riley Winter, earns his first start of the season at lock after coming off the bench in the opening rounds and will pack down alongside Western Force lock and Boars teammate Rory Walton.
Associates’ Alex Rovira and Kalamunda’s Auega Seumanutafa come into the back-row at blindside and openside respectively with Richard Hardwick wearing the No.8 jersey after a two-try performance against the Rays.
Hale School boy, Nick Jooste 18, who impressed on debut against the Rays off the bench has been rewarded with the first start of his young Buildcorp NRC career this weekend.
The Western Force pairing of Kyle Godwin and Solomoni Junior Rasolea will partner in the centres for the first time this NRC season.
Making his debut on the wing, the Future Force Academy’s newest scholarship holder, Onehunga Havili, will be been keen to showcase his raw pace and power in his first outing. PG Hampshire Award winner, Daley Harper, will make his first start of the season on the opposite wing.
Experienced campaigner, Joe Savage (Palmyra) who captained the Spirit last year, will provide coverage off the bench for the front row along with Wests Scarborough’s Conan Houkamau, who comes in for his first Buildcorp NRC game after a great Pindan Premier Grade season.
McIsaac said the team is looking to respond after the disappointment of last week.
“I think there’s obviously a lot of little, basic skill areas we need to work on, and just tidy up a bit.”
“Our structures and systems are OK, it’s just the execution of things we’re trying to do that will turn things around. The boys are obviously disappointed from the loss last week, and I think that will give them a bit of a kick up the bum, to make sure they fix all those things they need to.”
“I think our set piece in general is going pretty well, it’s just a matter of tidying up the skills that will be really important in getting over a talented Stars outfit.”
Watch the Stars entertain Perth Spirit LIVE on foxsports.com.au or FOX SPORTS Now from 3pm tomorrow.
Sydney Stars side to play Perth Spirit:
1. JEREMY TILSE (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
2. TOM COOLICAN (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
3. TOM ROBERTSON (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
4. ANDREW LEOTA (SOUTHERN DISTRICTS)
5. MATT PHILIP (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
6. ROHAN O’REGAN (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
7. DAVID HICKEY (C) (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
8. OFA FINAU (BALMAIN)
9. JAKE GORDON (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
10. ANGUS ROBERTS (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
11. HARRY JONES (WARRINGAH)
12. ANDREW ROBINSON (CANBERRA VIKINGS)
13. JIM STEWART (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
14. JOHN HALE (BALMAIN)
15. TOM KINGSTON (VC) (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
16. DECLAN MOORE (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
17. ALASDAIR KING (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
18. MATT SANDELL (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
19. TIPILOMA KAVEINGA (BALMAIN)
20. MITCHELL WHITELEY (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
21. RICHARD DRAPER (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
22. JORDAN MCGREGOR (SOUTHERN DISTRICTS)
23. TOM CARTER (SYDNEY UNIVERSITY)
Perth Spirit side to play Sydney Stars:
1. Chris Heiberg
2. Anaru Rangi
3. Oliver Hoskins
4. Riley Winter
5. Rory Walton
6. Alex Rovira
7. Auega Seumanutafa
8. Richard Hardwick
9. Ian Prior
10. Nick Jooste
11. Daley Harper
12. Kyle Godwin
13. Solomoni Rasolea
14. Onehunga Havili
15. Albert Nikoro
16. Conan Houkamau
17. Joe Savage
18. Jermaine Ainsley
19. Adrian Hall
20. Pierre Roberts
21. Ryan Louwrens
22. Byron Hutchinson
23. Maalonga Konelio