NRC: Wallaby v All Black in NRC showdown

by Marty Cambridge

 An All Black legend will square off with a Wallaby while one player will take on nine former teammates.  There's plenty of great match-ups ahead of round five of the Buildcorp NRC.

NSW Country Eagles (1) v Perth Spirit (4)

Saturday 24 September, 1:00pm at TBC

Kyle Godwin v ex-Force teammates 

Godwin played 52 games for the Western Force but will line-up in a Brumbies jersey for the 2017 Super Rugby season but he won’t have wait until next year to face plenty of ex-teammates. Nine of the Perth Spirit match-day 23 in fact have lined up alongside the flyer who had a breakout year in 2016 with the Western Australian franchise.  No doubt there will be some friendly fire directed his way during this one.

Kyle Godwin's breakout 2016 with the Force got him picked in extended Wallabies squads under Michael Cheika. Photo: Getty Images

Western Sydney Rams (7) v Queensland Country (8)

Saturday 24 September, 3:00pm at Concord Oval

The internationals.

Will Skelton vs Brad Thorn, there’s a match-up we thought we’d never see.  Thorn makes his return to the field via the Queensland Country reserves, while Will Skelton will be keen to impress, after being omitted from the Wallabies squad for the next two Rugby Championship matches.  It may be the bottom of the ladder clash but with these two squaring off there's sure to be a crowd.  And despite one on the bench and one starting, we’re still hopeful the two clash at some point during the 80 minutes.

Will Skelton missed selection in the 30-man Wallabies squad for the next two Rugby Championship games. Photo: Getty Images

UC Vikings (2) v Melbourne Rising (5)

Sunday 25 September, 1:00pm at Viking Park

The Super Rugby flankers.

In yet another genuine Super Rugby match-up in the Buildcorp NRC, Vikings captain Jarrad Butler will be out to mark his territory against red-hot Jordy Reid.  Reid has been in sensational touch for the Rising, setting up one try and scoring himself last week.  Butler on the other hand has had an up-and-down NRC campaign, dropped to the bench just two weeks ago before returning to the starting side for their win over the Rams last weekend.

Jordy Reid has been in outstanding form for Melbourne Rising. Photo: Getty Images

Brisbane City (6) v Sydney Rays (3)

Sunday 25 September, 3:00pm at Ballymore Stadium

The hookers.

Fresh off the disappointment of being overlooked for Wallabies selection in favour of Tolu Latu, Andrew Ready will have no shortage of motivation for this weekend’s fixture.  In a break out 2016 Super Rugby season where he overtook Saia Fainga’a as the Reds number one choice, Ready was included in Michael Cheika’s extended squad for the June series but a plateau in NRC form has seen him miss out this time around.

He’ll line-up opposite Damien Fitzpatrick, who’s returned from France looking to finalise a Super Rugby contract for 2017.  Fitzpatrick has undergone three knee reconstructions over two years and has been a stand-out for the Rays team so far in 2016. 

Andrew Ready will be key if Brisbane City are to get their 2016 season back on track. Photo: Getty Images