NRC: Thorn not content on the bench as NRC Round Six squads named

NRC
by Marty Cambridge

There is plenty to play for with just two regular rounds to go of the Buildcorp NRC and some coaches have rung in the changes.  A Wallaby returns for Perth and an All Black makes his way into Queensland Country's first XV. 

Queensland Country (8) v NSW Country Eagles (1)

Saturday 1 October, 1:00pm at Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba 

Brad Thorn’s cameo off the bench last weekend is to turn into a starring role after being named in the first XV for the clash between the ladder-leaders and the cellar-dwellers.  He replaces the injured Phil Potgeiter, while Toowoomba local Liam Jurd gets the opportunity to play in front of his hometown, lining up on the wing.  The only other change to the starting 15 is the inclusion of Super Rugby veteran Ben Daley at loose-head prop.

Country Eagles coach Darren Coleman has rung in the changes as his side goes for a sixth successive win. Sonny Satuala, Clarrie Moore, Ryan McCauley, Sam Figg and Rowan Perry are all new faces in the forwards from the side that defeated Perth Spirit last weekend.  There's been a reshuffle in the backs too, Mitch Short starts at scrumhalf for the first time in 2016, Reece Robinson moves to fullback with Christian Kagiassis lining up on the wing. Andrew Deegan's return to flyhalf is the other change from last week.

Queensland Country

Starting 1-15: Ben Daley, Alex Casey, Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Brad Thorn, Ted Postal, Maclean Jones, Angus Scott-Young, James Tuttle, Mack Mason, Liam McNamara, Duncan Paia’aua, Tyrone Lefau, Liam Jurd, Tom Banks.

Reserves: Feleti Kaitu’u, Richie Asiata, Sef Fa’agase, Tyrell Barker, Liam Wright, Scott Malolua, Mitch Third, Matthew Gordon. 

NSW Country Eagles

Starting 1-15: Sonny Satuala, Clarrie Moore, Paddy Ryan (c), Tim Buchanan, Ryan McCauley, Sam Figg, Rowan Perry, Mark Baldwin, Mitch Short, Andrew Deegan, Christian Kagiassis, Kyle Godwin, David Horwitz, Charlie Clifton, Reece Robinson.

Reserves: Luke Holmes, Jed Gillespie, Cameron Betham, Rohan O’Regan, Tom Cusack, Sam Ward, Tayler Adams, Tom Hill.

Brad Thorn will make his starting debut in the Buildcorp NRC this weekend. Photo: Karen Watson Stream online via foxsports.com.au.

Sydney Rays (2) v UC Vikings (4)

Saturday 1 October, 3:00pm at Pittwater Park

The Sydney Rays will look to keep the pressure on ladder-leaders Country Eagles when they take on the Vikings.  Brumbies signing Chris Alcock earns a start and is a straight swap for Michael Smith at flanker while Belgian international Alain Miriallakis has forced his way into the first XV, named at tighthead prop.  He's joined in the front row by Ezra Luxton who replaces Rory O'Connor while in the backs Josh Turner is battling to overcome a leg injury and will need to prove his fitness in the final training session to start at fullback. 

The Vikings are looking to bounce-back and have made a number of changes to the side that lost the Horan-Little Shield last weekend.  Ray Dobson, Dan Penca, Jake Rakic and Eli Sinoti have all been named to make their first starts while hooker Robbie Abel returns to the first XV.  Scrumhalf Joe Powell has moved to the bench with Brent Hamlin given the number nine role, paired with Nick Jooste in the halves.  Wallaby legend Tim Horan's son Alex has been named in the reserves and is in line to make his potential debut. 

Sydney Rays

Starting 1-15: Ezra Luxton, Damien Fitzpatrick, Alain Miriallakis, Connor Vest, James Brown, Jack Dempsey, Chris Alcock, Michael Wells, Matt Lucas (c), Angus Sinclair, Harry Jones, Irae Simone, Con Foley,  Lochie Creah, Jonathan Malo/Josh Turner. 

Reserves: James Hilterbrand, Rory O’Connor, Angus Ta'avao/Lawrance Hunting, Adrian Hall, Michael Smith, Dewet Roos, Sam Lane/Johnathan Malo, Seb Wileman.

UC Vikings

Starting 1-15: Faalelei Sione, Robbie Abel, Raymond Dobson, Blake Enever, Tom Staniforth, Jordan Smiler, Dan Penca, OJ Noa, Brent Hamlin, Nick Jooste, Lausii Taliauli, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Jake Rakic, Eli Sinoti, Robbie Coleman (c).

Reserves: Connal McInerney, Sione Taula, Nick Dobson, Darcy Swain, Dean Oakman-Hunt, Joe Powell, Alex Horan, Andrew Robinson.

Robbie Coleman switches to fullback from the halves for Round Six.  Photo: Connie MoreauCatch all the NRC action LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on FOX SPORTS.

Melbourne Rising (3) v Western Sydney Rams (6)

Sunday 2 October, 3:00pm (AEDT) at Harlequins Oval  

The Rising have been massively boosted with the inclusion of veteran campaigners Toby Smith and Dom Shipperley for this Round Six clash.   Shipperley played his first minutes in five months from the bench last weekend in his return from a knee injury, helping the side claim the Horan-Little Shield which they will defend against the Rams.  Mick Snowden will again start at scrumhalf as Nic Stirzaker battles to overcome a head knock, while prop Tim Metcher returns from his own head injury that kept him out last weekend. 

The Rams have named an unchanged starting side for the first time in 2016 as they look to build on the momentum of their first win of the season last weekend. Lock Will Skelton will again look to make an impact up front for the Rams who are boosted by the return of Olympic gold medalist Vatemo Ravouvou, who will make his comeback via the reserves. 

Melbourne Rising

Starting 1-15: Toby Smith, Pat Leafa, Tim Metcher, Sam Jeffries, Steve Cummins, Ikapote Tupai, Sione Taufa, Jordy Reid, Mick Snowden, Jack Debreczeni, Tom English (c), Lloyd Johansson, Sione Tuipulotu, Dom Shipperley, Jonah Placid.

Reserves: Siliva Siliva, Cruze Ah-Nau, Tyrel Lomax, Alex Toolis, Rob Valetini, Keisuke Yamada,  Ah-mu Tuimalealiifano, Isaiah Leota.

Western Sydney Rams

Starting 1-15: Matt Gibbon, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Lolohea, Will Skelton, Vaitoa Senio Toleafoa, Rhys Allen, Tupou Sopoaga, Tyrone Viiga, Waldo Wessels, Paul Asquith (c), Luke Smart, Mau David Minute, Apolosi Latunipulu, Roland-Keni Kotobolavu, Albert Nikoro. 

Reserves: TBC, Andrew Tuala, Jack Payne, Tom Alexander, Jodan Tuapou, Harrison Goddard, Vatemo Ravouvou.

Tom English will again skipper Melbourne Rising in Nic Stirzaker's absence. Photo: Connie MoreauCatch all the NRC action LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on FOX SPORTS.

Perth Spirit (5) v Brisbane City (7)

Sunday 2 October, 2:00pm (AWST) at UWA Sports Park

There's good news and bad news out of the West. Good news is Wallaby-capped player Pek Cowan, scrumhalf Ryan Louwrens and explosive centre Billy Meakes all return to the first XV as Perth look to get push themselves into the top four.  The bad news is they will have to do it without flyhalf Jono Lance, who is unavailable for the clash and is replaced by Super Rugby veteran Ian Prior.  Ben McCalman will run out for the Spirit for the third consecutive week as he continues his comeback from a shoulder injury. 

Brisbane City will need all results to go their way and pick up maximum points if they’re to have any chance of making the top four.  They’ve made just one change to the starting side with Jayden Ngamanu to start at fullback and Brad Lacey moving to the centres. There’s also just the one change in the reserves with Jake De Guingand ruled out through injury, replaced by Queensland under-20s player Tuaina Tualima. 

Perth Spirit

Starting 1-15: Pek Cowan, Heath Tessman, Shambeckler Vui, Kieran Stringer, Ross Haylett-Petty, Brynard Stander, Richard Hardwick, Ben McCalman, Ryan Louwrens, Ian Prior, Ammon Matuauto, Ben Tapuai, Billy Meakes, Marcel Brache, Manihera Eden. 

Reserves: Anaru Rangi, Laione Mulikihaamea, Jermaine Ainsley, Onehunga Havili, Russell Burges, Michael Ruru, AJ Alatimu, Semisi Masirewa.

Brisbane City

Starting 1-15: Pettowa Paraka, Andrew Ready, Sam Talakai (c), David Findlay-Henaway, Lukhan Tui, Luke Beauchamp, Michael Gunn, Isi Naisarani, Moses Sorovi, Jake McIntyre, Alex Gibbon, Patrick James, Brad Lacey, Chris Kuridrani, Jayden Ngamanu.

Reserves: Matt Mafi, Markus Vanzati, Feao Fotuaika, Criff Tupou, Adam Korczyk, Angus Fowler, Mitch Felsman, Tuaina Tualima.

Pek Cowan plays his first game in the NRC since 2014 this weekend. Photo: Getty ImagesStream online viafoxsports.com.au.

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