With the third instalment of the Buildcorp NRC upon us it's time to take a look at how the Queensland teams stack up to the rest of the competition.
Levi Aumua, Luke Beauchamp, Jake DeGuingand, Kane Douglas, David Findlay-Henaway, Feao Fotaika, Nick Frisby, Alex Gibbon, Michael Gunn, Leroy Houston, Karmichael Hunt, Patrick James, Samu Kerevi, Chris Kuridrani, Brad Lacey, Junior Laloifi, Jeremiah Lynch, Tonga Ma’afu, Matt Mafi, Jake McIntyre, Brendan Mitchell, Isi Naisarani, Harry Nucitora, Pettowa Paraka, Andrew Ready, Nathan Russell, Moses Sorovi, Jake Strachan, Sam Talakai (c), Tuaina Tualima, Lukhan Tui, Criff Tupou, Markus Vanzati and Toby White.
CoachProven Premier Rugby coach Rodney Seib gets his first crack at the top job after Nick Stiles was announced as the Queensland Reds coach for the next two seasons. Seib has been an assistant at City for the first two seasons where the club won back-to-back championships.
StrengthsThe halves. Brisbane City will boast a Super Rugby halves pairing for this year’s competition who also played together in the first two seasons. Wallaby Nick Frisby and youngster Jake McIntyre played plenty of minutes together for the Reds in 2016 and are sure to have a massive impact on this season’s results.
WeaknessesA change of coach and loss of players such as Samu Kerevi to the Wallabies squad will no doubt have an impact on City. Nick Stiles is undoubtedly a great motivator and will they have the drive to go back-to-back-to-back in 2016?
It’s been a dream first two years for Brisbane City. They’re the only team in the Buildcorp NRC to have lifted the trophy, winning the competition for the second time in 2015. They were all but unstoppable last year and will again be hard to beat.
Fringe Wallabies. Leroy Houston, Karmichael Hunt, Nick Frisby and Andrew Ready were all on Michael Cheika's Wallaby radar in 2016. They'll have strong ambitions to prove themselves in this year's Buildcorp NRC and keep themselves in the frame for national selection.
Champions. Our prediction is Brisbane City will be right up there again this year and will keep their hands firmly on the Buildcorp NRC trophy.
v NSW Country Eagles on the 27th of August at Sydney Uni.
SquadRichie Asiata, Tom Banks, Tyrell Barker, Josh Birch, Alex Casey, Jack Cornelsen, Ben Daley, Sef Fa’agase, Saia Fainga’a, Lolo Fakaosilea, Matt Gordon, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Maclean Jones, Feleti Kaitu’u, Tyronne Lefau, Campbell Magnay, Scott Malolua, Mack Mason, Liam McNamara, Connor Mitchell, Eto Nabuli, Apisai Naiyabo, Duncan Paia’aua, Izaia Perese, Tom Pincus, Phil Potgieter, Izack Rodda, Kirwan Sanday, Angus Scott-Young, Brad Thorn, Taniela Tupou and James Tuttle (c).
CoachWallaby legend Toutai Kefu will take his first coaching role on Australian soil in this year’s Buildcorp NRC. He’ll be assisted by former head coach Jason Gilmore and Reds assistant Brad Thorn who will also line-up as a player in 2016.
Their coaching outfit is as strong as any in the competition. Kefu is the current Tongan national coach while Jason Gilmore and Brad Thorn guided the Reds Under-20s to the inaugural Super U20s Championship.