NRC: Butler to lead Vikings in NRC

Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Flanker Jarrad Butler will lead the UC Vikings for the second straight year in the NRC, as they look to better their 2015 runner-up finish.

Butler will be joined by Robbie Coleman and Blake Enever in the leadership team for the Canberra side.

Jarrad Butler will captain the Vikings in 2016. Photo: Getty Images

A standout in the NRC since its inception, Butler was the leading try-scorer for the Vikings last season, with nine to his name, leading the side to its first grand final appearance.

Butler said he was thrilled to be named as captain ahead of the new season.

“It’s definitely a huge honour, to captain a side that represents Canberra’s Rugby community,” Butler said.

“We came close to winning last year and I think that is spurring a lot of us on again, to go one better.

“There’s some new faces in here who have been at the top of their game in the John I Dent Cup, so we have great depth in key positions which I think will be important.

“Working with Blake and Robbie will also be a huge honour for me.

“They are great friends of mine so to be able to share the leadership of this team with them this year will be something I think we will all remember in the years to come.”

Henry Speight could represent the Vikings on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

Brumbies winger Henry Speight is also likely  to feature for the Vikings in the opening weekend of the NRC, heading straight to Canberra from Rio as he tries to push for Wallabies selection.

Speight only played five games for the Brumbies in 2016 before fracturing his cheekbone and then devoted his time entirely to Sevens in the lead up to the Olympics.

Vikings coach Wayne Southwell said is looking forward to have the experienced players of Speight’s calibre around the playing group.

"Henry's a good person to have around. We'll train this week and then we'll see how it fits and works together after those sessions," he told Fairfax Media.

The Vikings kick off their season against the NSW Country Eagles on Sunday, 4 September at Viking Park.