McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City return to action in the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) this Friday night, when they face the Sydney Stars for the Horan-Little Shield at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney.
After a bye in Round 6, City head coach Nick Stiles has made just one change to his starting team, from the side that secured a bonus-point win over the NSW Country Eagles in Round 5 at Ballymore.
The only change to the starting line-up sees GPS lock Corey Thomas rotate with Ben Hyne in the number four jersey.
In the backline, Nick Frisby and Jake McIntyre continue their development as a halves pairing with Henry Taefu and Samu Kerevi once again selected to combine in the centres. Junior Laloifi retains his spot on the left wing, alongside Chris Kuridrani and fullback Karmichael Hunt.
On the bench, Matt Mafi has been selected as the replacement hooker, with Ryan Freney and Feao Fotuaika completing the front-row reserves. GPS back-rower Michael Richards retains his spot on the bench. University’s Moses Sorovi has been recalled to the match-day 23 after scrumhalf Tim Smith suffered a season-ending injury against NSW Country.
Current Australian Under-20s representative flyhalf James Dalgleish is in line to earn his first NRC cap of 2015 having featured in last year’s squad. Australian Sevens flyer Alex Gibbon is also likely to receive another opportunity off the bench.
With Liam Gill still on the sidelines, prop Sam Talakai has been entrusted with the captaincy for this week’s clash.
Stiles said that Talakai has been a leader in the squad and continues to improve his game.
“Sam has come on in leaps and bounds over the past 18-months. He is a great player to have in the team, both in terms of his on-field and off-field abilities. I have no doubt that Sam will do a great job for the team as captain on Friday.”
When asked about the inclusion of Corey Thomas, Stiles said it is essential to give everyone in his squad an opportunity this season.
“Corey started the first two games of the season and performed well. Ben Hyne has also been great for us this season, so it is promising to see players battling for places and that there is healthy competition in the squad.”
Meanwhile, Sydney Stars Head Coach has brought Tolu Latu in at hooker to replace James Hanson, who was called up to the Wallabies squad for the Rugby World Cup during the week. Competition top try scorer Harry Jones has been named on the left wing.
Friday’s match kicks off at 7:30pm and the match will also be live streamed at www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/nrc/nrcondemand.
Sydney Stars team to play Brisbane City:
1. Jeremy Tilse
2. Tolu Latu
3. Chris Talakai
4. Matt Philip
5. Senio Toleofoa
6. Rohan O'Regan
7. Jordan Tuapou
8. Jake Wainwright
9. Jake Gordon
10. Jordan McGregor
11. Harry Jones
12. Andrew Robinson
13. Jim Stewart
14. John Hale
15. Tom Kingston (c)
16. Tom Coolican
17. Alasdair Kingston
18. Kirwan Sanday
19. Tipaloma Kaveniga
20. Ofa Finau
21. Richard Draper
22. Christian Kagiassis
23. Christian Yassmin
McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City side to play Sydney Stars:
1. Pettowa Paraka – Reds/Easts
2. Andrew Ready – Reds/Easts
3. Sam Talakai (C) – Reds/GPS
4. Corey Thomas - GPS
5. Cadeyrn Neville – Reds/Manly
6. Luke Beauchamp - Brothers
7. Waita Setu – GPS
8. Scott Higginbotham – NEC Green Rockets
9. Nick Frisby – Reds/GPS
10. Jake McIntyre – Reds/Sunnybank
11. Junior Laloifi – Sunnybank
12. Henry Taefu – Sunnybank
13. Samu Kerevi – Reds/GPS
14. Chris Kuridrani – Reds/GPS
15. Karmichael Hunt – Reds/Brothers
16. Matt Mafi - Brothers
17. Ryan Freney - GPS
18. Feao Fotuaika - Sunnybank
19. Ben Hyne – Brothers
20. Michael Richards - GPS
21. Moses Sorovi – University of Queensland
22. James Dalgleish – University of Queensland
23. Alex Gibbon – Southern Districts