NRC: Rising star vs Wallaby in waiting

by Marty Cambridge

Round two of the Buildcorp NRC brings some mouth-watering battles. takes a look at the key match-ups ahead of this weekend’s action.

Sydney Rays (2) v Perth Spirit (4)

Friday 2 September, 6:30pm at North Sydney Oval streamed live on

The battle of the wingers 

The Spirit’s Luke Morahan and Rays’ Richard Woolf both notched doubles on the weekend and will be keen to add to their tallies. Woolf will have added help from new fullback and Sevens star Cam Clark while Morahan has no shortage of motivation as he tries to break back in to the Wallabies set-up.

Brisbane City (6) v Western Sydney Rams (7)

Saturday 3 September, 3pm at Ballymore Oval broadcast live on FOX SPORTS.

The emerging hookers

With the Wallabies set piece under scrutiny it’s a great opportunity for two of the best young hookers in Australian rugby to flex their muscles. The Rams’ Hugh Roach is the deputy to current Wallabies number two Tatafu Polota-Nau at the Waratahs while City hooker Andrew Ready will be behind Australian skipper Steven Moore at the Reds in 2017.   Both will consider Saturday afternoon a golden opportunity to get their name on Michael Cheika’s radar.

Andrew Ready was picked in an extended Wallabies squad back in May. Photo: Getty Images.

Melbourne Rising (5) v Queensland Country (8)

Sunday 4 September, 1pm at Harlequins Oval streamed live on

The forwards

With two capped Wallabies lining-up in each side, the battle up front promises to be a cracker.  Toby Smith and James Hanson packing down in the front row for the Rising, James Slipper and Rob Simmons part of the tight-five for Country. The Rising will also be boosted by Lopeti Timani, who has been travelling with the Wallabies during the first two Bledisloe matches.  All will have plenty to prove as they hope to get themselves in the match-day 23 for the rest of The Rugby Championship.

James Slipper has played 79 Tests for the Wallabies but will make his Buildcorp NRC debut this weekend. Photo: Getty Images.

UC Vikings (1) v NSW Country Eagles (3)

Sunday 4 September, 3pm at Viking Park broadcast live on FOX SPORTS. 

The battle of the big boppers

Arguably the most exciting of all the match-ups this weekend will see the newest capped Wallabies prop, Allan Alaalatoa up against the man waiting in the wings, Tom Robertson.  Robertson was part of the Wallabies extended squad for the first two Bledisloe Cup matches and will be keen to impress while Alaalatoa will want to secure his spot for the rest of The Rugby Championship. No doubt national coach Michael Cheika will have a keen eye on this match-up.

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