NRC: Olympic champion to make NRC debut

by Marty Cambridge

Fijian flyer and Olympic gold medalist Vatemo Ravouvou will return to the 15-man format for the Western Sydney Rams in the Buildcorp NRC. Here are all the squads for round three. 

Western Sydney Rams (7) v Perth Spirit (6)

Saturday 10 September, 1:00pm at Concord Oval

Fresh from his Olympic triumph less than a month ago, Fiji’s Vatemo Ravouvou will return to the 15-man game with the Western Sydney Rams.  He’ll start at fullback for the side as they look to get their first win of the 2016 season.

Perth coach Dwayne Nestor has made a number of changes to his side, local outside back James Wepener will make his NRC debut, while Harry Scoble comes in for Anaru Rangi at hooker after the latter was forced out with a quad strain.  The inclusion of Wepener on the wing has caused a backline reshuffle that’s forced Super Rugby veteran Ben Tapuai to the bench.

Western Sydney Rams

Starting 1-15: Matt Gibbon, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Lolohea, Filimone Tufui, Senio Toleafoa, Ngaruhe Jones, Tupou Sopoaga, Rhys Allen, Scott Gale, Paul Asquith (c), Luke Smart, Apolosi Latunipulu, Samuel Denny Godinet, Rob Buaserau, Vatemo Ravouvou.

Reserves: Aaron Blacklock, Andrew Tuala, Jack Payne, Taunaola Kei, Thomas Alexander, Harrison Goddard, Mitchell Walton, Albert Nikoro.

Perth Spirit

Starting 1-15: Laione Mulikihaamea, Harry Scoble, Shambeckler Vui, Kieran Stringer, Onehunga Havili, Brynard Stander, Kane Koteka, Richard Hardwick, Ryan Louwrens, Jono Lance (c), Eric Vasukicakau, Bill Meakes, Ammon Matuauti, James Wepener, Manihera Eden.

Reserves: Tom Sheminant, Mees Erasmus, Chris Heiberg, Russell Burges, Hadleigh May, Michael Ruru, Aj Alatimu, Ben Tapuai.


Stream online via

Queensland Country (8) v Sydney Rays (1)

Saturday 10 September, 3:00pm at Bond University

Toutai Kefu has made a number of changes to the Queensland Country squad as they look for their first win of the season.  Flyhalf Mack Mason has been dropped to the bench and is replace by Mitch Third.  Reds winger Eto Nabuli won’t play this weekend after suffering a bad head-knock in the loss to Melbourne Rising last weekend.

Meanwhile the Rays have named Sevens star Con Foley at outside centre in what will be his official return to the the 15-man format after missing out on game time last weekend despite being named on the bench.  Backrower Hugh Sinclair has been ruled out for the rest of the season after straining his medial ligament at training and will be replaced by either Harry Bergelin or James Brown.

Queensland Country

Starting 1-15: Ben Daley, Alex Casey, Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodder, Rob Simmons, Tyrell Barker, Conor Mitchell, Jack Cornelsen, James Tuttle, Mitch Third, Liam Jurd, Duncan Paia’aua, Izaia Perese, Liam McNamara, Tom Banks.

Reserves: Feleti Kaitu’u, Sef Fa’agase, Kirwan Sanday, Angus Scott-Young, Maclean Jones, Isaak Fines-Leleiwasa, Mack Mason, Tyrone Lefau.

Sydney Rays

Starting 1-15: Ezra Luxton, Damien Fitzpatrick, Lawrance Hunting, Connor Vest, Nick Palmer, Harry Bergelin/James Brown, Will Miller, Michael Wells, Matt Lucas (c), Angus Sinclair, Harry Jones, Irae Simone, Con Foley, Richard Woolf, Cameron Clark.

Reserves: James Hilterbrand, Rory O’Connor, Mitch Lewis, Adrian Hall, Harry Bergelin/James Brown, Dewet Roos, Sam Lane, Seb Wileman.

Con Foley will be the second Sevens star to line-up for the Rays after Cam Clark's debut last weekend. Photo: Getty Images.Catch all the NRC action LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.

Brisbane City (5) v UC Vikings (4)

Sunday 11 September, 1:00pm at Ballymore Oval

Brisbane City have made three changes to the first XV that defeated the Rams in round two.  Mitch Felsman will get his first start in City colours after he put his hand up for try of the year last weekend while Patrick James has been shifted from fullback to inside centre with Western Force squad member Brad Lacey pulling on jersey number 15.

UC Vikings coach Wayne Southwell has made seven changes to the side that was thrashed at home last weekend by the NSW Country Eagles. Robbie Coleman switches from fullback to flyhalf and will also captain the side with Jarrad Butler moved to the bench.  Halves pairing Joe Powell and Nick Jooste also dropped from the starting XV with Brent Hamlin to partner Coleman. 

Brisbane City

Starting 1-15: Pettowa Paraka, Andrew Ready, Sam Talakai (c), Luke Beauchamp, Lukhan Tui, Isi Naisarani, Michael Gunn, Leroy Houston, Nick Frisby, Jake McIntyre, Alex Gibbon, Patrick James, Chris Kuridrani, Mitch Felsman, Brad Lacey.

Reserves: Matt Mafi, Markus Vanzati, Feao Fotuaika, Jeremiah Lynch, Criff Tupou, Moses Sorovi, Jayden Ngamanu, Jake de Guingand.

UC Vikings

Starting 1-15: Sione Taula, Robbie Abel, Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, Blake Enever, Sam Carter, Tom Staniforth, Dean Oakman-Hunt, OJ Noa, Brent Hamlin, Robbie Coleman (c), Lausii Taliauli, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Andrew Smith, Andrew Robinson, Isaac Thompson.

Reserves: Connal McInerney, Faalelei Sione, Ray Dobson, TBC, Jarrad Butler, Joe Powell, Nick Jooste, Henry Speight.          

Stream online via

NSW Country Eagles (2) v Melbourne Rising (3)

Sunday 11 September, 3:00pm at Magpies Rugby Club, Tamworth

The NSW Country Eagles have made just one change to the side that smashed the UC Vikings last weekend. Fullback Andrew Kellaway won’t make the trip to Tamworth, providing an opportunity for Angus Roberts to start in the 15 jersey.  Paddy Ryan will make the journey back to the town where he was born and will be partnered in the front row by Tom Robertson who won’t take part in the Wallabies clash with South Africa on Saturday night.  The Eagles have also named Sevens Olympic squad member Tom Cusack on an extended bench. 

The Rising have made a number of forced changes due to Wallabies duties.  Cruze Ah Nau, Pat Leafa and Harley Fox all welcomed back to the starting side while Ben Meehan retains his spot at flyhalf with Jack Debreczeni to start at fullback for the first time this season.  Speedster Sefa Naivalu has also been released from Wallabies duty and will join the team in Tamworth.

NSW Country Eagles

Starting 1-15: Paddy Ryan (c), Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Ned Hanigan, Tim Buchanan, Sam Figg, Rowan Perry, Sam Ward, Jake Gordon, Andrew Deegan, Alex Newsome, Kyle Godwin, David Horwitz, Reece Robinson, Angus Roberts.

Reserves: Folau Fa’ainga, Jed Gillespie, Sam Needs, Ryan McCauley, Tom Cusack, Mark Baldwin, Sam Croke, Tayler Adams, Charlie Clifton, Tom Hill (two to be omitted). 

Melbourne Rising

Starting 1-15: Cruze Ah Nau, Pat Leafa Tim Metcher, Sam Jeffries, Steve Cummins, Alex Toolis, Jordy Reid, Harley Fox, Nic Stirzaker, Ben Meehan, Jonah Placid, Sione Tuipulotu, Tom English, Ah-Mu Tuimalealiifano, Jack Debreczeni.

Reserves: Siliva Siliva, Tom Moloney, Tyrel Lomax, Rob Leota, Ikapote Tupai, Mick Snowden, Lloyd Johansson, Sefa Naivalu.

Paddy Ryan packs down for the NSW Country Eagles during their win over the UC Vikings. Photo: Brumbies Media.Catch all the NRC action LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.