Bond University Queensland Country head coach Jason Gilmore has named his match-day 23 for their Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) opener against the Melbourne Rising this Sunday, 23 August, at Bond University on the Gold Coast.
The side features seven players with Super Rugby experience including recent BLK Queensland Premier Rugby title-winning centre Chris Feauai-Sautia, and former St.George Queensland Reds 2011 title-winning Number 8 Radike Samo.
The squad includes 12 club Rugby players as well as two players who have also represented the Queensland Country Heelers at a grassroots level, props Haydn Hirsimaki and Sef Fa’agase.
Queensland Reds centre Anthony Fainga’a has been ruled out of selection for the tournament with a foot injury that requires surgery. In his place, 19-year-old Australian Under-20s scrumhalf and 2014 Queensland Country representative James Tuttle will captain the side.
Gilmore said he believes the Round 1 clash against the Rising will be a great first-up challenge for the Country side.
“We have a number of new faces in the squad in 2015 across the players and staff so it is important for us to come together early and embrace the structures, systems and attitude we’re trying to implement,” he said.
“We will benefit from having a larger Super Rugby presence in the side this year as well as a number of experienced club Rugby players who also have a lot to contribute.
“As one of the form teams of the 2014 competition, the Rising will be a great test. How we perform in this match will provide us with a good basis to work from as well as some insights into where we need to build.
“With four home games in regional areas this year, we’re looking forward to showcasing our style of Rugby to Gold Coast Rugby fans first up.
“We have a strong representation of players with country Queensland backgrounds in the side and heading into Round 1 the players are well aware of what the jersey they’re wearing represents.”
Tickets are now on sale for all Queensland-based NRC matches at www.redsrugby.com.au.
QRU has introduced a new ticket offer for the 2015 season, with registered junior club participants under the age of 16 given free entry to any Queensland-based NRC game when accompanied by a paying adult.
Tickets start at just $5 for juniors, $10 for concession and $15 for adults when purchased online prior to the match.
The match kicks-off at 3:30pm with tickets available for purchase online at www.redsrugby.com.au and at the gate. The match will also be LIVE streamed at www.foxsports.com.au.
Bond University Queensland Country side to face the Melbourne Rising on Sunday, 23 August.
Name – Club/Region
1. Haydn Hirsimaki – Sunnybank/Sunshine Coast
2. Campbell Wakely – University of Queensland/Gold Coast
3. Sef Fa’agase – Reds/University of Queensland/Beaudesert
4. Phil Potgieter – University of Queensland/Toowoomba
5. Richie Arnold – Bond University/Gold Coast
6. Jack Cornelsen – University of Queensland/Gold Coast
7. Conor Mitchell – University of Queensland/Sunshine Coast
8. Radike Samo – GPS
9. James Tuttle – Reds/GPS (C)
10. Sam Greene – Reds/Brothers
11. Izaia Perese – Easts
12. Matt Gordon – Easts/Toowoomba
13. Chris Feauai-Sautia – Reds/Souths
14. Tom Pincus – University of Queensland/Gold Coast
15. Jamie-Jerry Taulagi – Reds/University of Queensland
16. Alex Mafi – Reds/Bond University/Gold Coast
17. AJ Campbell – Easts/Gold Coast
18. Reuben Leilua – University of Queensland
19. Milton Sikuea – Bond University/Gold Coast
20. Maclean Jones – University of Queensland/St George
21. Scott Gale – Reds/University of Queensland
22. Dion Taumata – Bond University/Gold Coast
23. Duncan Paia’aua – Reds/GPS/Rockhampton