Wallabies a welcome headache for Vikings

by Sam Phillips

The return of the Vikings' Wallabies contingent has been the source of a welcome selection headache for Canberra coach Nick Scrivener.

Tom Banks, Joe Powell, Folau Faingaa and Rory Arnold will all start in Canberra's season opening grand final replay against Queensland Country - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika releasing the quartet with no Test rugby to play this weekend.

Bringing Wallabies representatives in and out of NRC sides can cause some disruption but Scrivener broached the topic with his squad earlier this week.

"I explained to the squad when we first assembled on Sunday that from week to week this could happen and we were lucky to get them on a Tuesday," Scrivener said.

"Often when you get Wallabies back they are coming back on a Thursday.Folau Faingaa will start for the Vikings fresh off a Wallabies debut. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"We just have to be flexible in our thinking and get on with it."

Banks and Faingaa made their debuts in the 40-12 loss to the All Blacks at Eden Park and Scrivener hopes their first taste of Test rugby will inspire some strong performances come Saturday afternoon.

"Now they've had a taste of it you'd be hoping they want more and to get more they've got to perform well here," he said.

"We're really happy with the squad that we've got now and it's now almost a lot easier that we have everyone in the same tent.

"Now we can just focus on the footy and get on with it."The Vikings were a force in last season's NRC. Photo: Getty ImagesGetting on with it means kicking off their season in style with a win over the reigning premiers, the importance of a hot start in a seven game sprint not lost on Scrivener.

"You can be behind the eight ball pretty quickly in a sprint like this," he said.

"We only have three home games and the first one is this Saturday so it's important we start well and try to get a bit of momentum going as quickly as possible.

"If we get a bit of momentum going we can go a long way."

The Vikings face Queensland Country in their season opener at Viking Park on Saturday, kicking off at 5pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.