St.George Queensland Reds and Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia will debut for McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City from the reserves bench this weekend, in his first game since succumbing to an ankle injury three months ago.
Genia is one of four Reds players making their way back to the field for Brisbane City’s third match of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship against the Melbourne Rising at Ballymore Stadium this Saturday, 6 September.
While Genia will make his long awaited return from the bench, Brisbane City’s starting lineup will be bolstered by the return of Number 8 Jake Schatz and centre Samu Kerevi, who both featured in the side’s opening round win.
They will be joined by openside flanker Liam Gill, who will make his debut for the side, after missing the first two rounds due to an injury suffered in the Queensland Premier Rugby final.
Brisbane City head coach Nick Stiles welcomed the additions to a team which has already turned heads with its first two wins.
“It’s great to be able to bring four Super Rugby players into the team this weekend and to have both Liam and Will making their debut for Brisbane City,” Stiles said.
“When you’re making changes to a winning team, it’s a real sign of depth within a squad. I was really impressed with the way our team and particularly our club Rugby players stood up in Perth last weekend, against a team with a lot of Super Rugby players.
“The team will benefit from the experience these guys bring to the paddock this Saturday, but the club guys have benefitted already from what they’ve brought to training and the team environment.
“Both teams are undefeated, so I’ve no doubt this will be another challenging game, but I also expect it will be an entertaining spectacle. The opening rounds of the competition have shown teams are taking advantage of the new laws to play a really expansive style of Rugby and the fans are loving it.”
In the spirit of grassroots Rugby, fans will be welcomed on to the hallowed turf of Ballymore following the match.
“As a young kid growing up in Brisbane, I used to love coming to Ballymore to watch games and kick the footy on the field afterwards. Ballymore is the spiritual home of Rugby in this state and I’m sure many Queenslanders have formed fond memories of the game at this place. Hopefully the NRC is creating new memories for the next generation of Rugby fans in Queensland.”
Stiles has made four personnel changes to the starting XV for this weekend’s clash.
Sydney University prop Sam Talakai returns to the starting lineup at tighthead prop, in place of Phil Kite who moves to the bench. He will be joined in the front row by Pettowa Paraka at loosehead and Andrew Ready at hooker.
Captain Dave McDuling returns to the second row, in place of James Horwill, who is unavailable due to Wallabies selection. McDuling is joined in the second row by GPS’ Marco Kotze.
Gill’s welcome inclusion in the backrow has resulted in a slight shuffle, with standout Michael Gunn moving to blindside flanker, while Schatz returns to starting Number 8. University of Queensland skipper Tim Buchanan is unavailable due to family commitments.
In the backs, Kerevi’s return from injury sees him again team up with Easts’ Toby White in the centres, with Sunnybank’s Rex Tapuai moving to the bench.
The back three remains unchanged from last weekend, with Harry Parker and Chris Kuridrani on the wings and Matt Feaunati at fullback.
Stiles has opted for a five-three split on the bench, with Matt Mafi, Sef Faagase and Kite covering the front row. Faagase stands to make his Brisbane City debut. Adam Korczyk and Brad Wilkin will cover the back row.
Genia has been named as replacement scrumhalf, along with James Dalgleish at flyhalf and Tapuai for the outside backs.
Brisbane City play Melbourne Rising at Ballymore Stadium this Saturday, 6 September, at 3:00pm. The game will be streamed live at www.redsrugby.com.au.
The match will also feature a Brisbane North v Brisbane South Premier Colts curtain raiser, kicking off at 12:50pm.
In addition to fans being allowed on the field following the main match, any child that comes to the game dressed in their club jersey goes in the running to form part of the run-on tunnel for the game. All they need to do is be at the St.George Rookies2Reds activation zone at 2:30pm in their jersey to apply.
Tickets to the match are available at www.redsrugby.com.au/NRC
McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City v Melbourne Rising (Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane)
1. Pettowa Paraka – Reds WTS/Easts
2. Andrew Ready – Reds EPS/Easts
3. Sam Talakai – Sydney University
4. Marco Kotze – GPS
5. Dave McDuling – Reds/University of Queensland
6. Michael Gunn – Reds WTS/Easts
7. Liam Gill – Reds/Sunnybank
8. Jake Schatz – Reds/Sunnybank
9. Nick Frisby – Reds/GPS
10. Jake McIntyre – Reds WTS/Sunnybank
11. Harry Parker – University of Queensland
12. Samu Kerevi – Reds/GPS
13. Toby White – Easts
14. Chris Kuridrani – Reds/GPS
15. Matt Feaunati – Sunnybank
16. Matt Mafi – Brothers
17. Sef Faagase – Reds WTS/University of Queensland
18. Phil Kite – Reds WTS/GPS
19. Adam Korczyk – University of Queensland
20. Brad Wilkin – Easts
21. Will Genia – Reds/Wests
22. James Dalgleish – University of Queensland
23. Rex Tapuai – Sunnybank
About the NRC:
The NRC is a new domestic Rugby competition, involving nine teams from across Australia. The inaugural season will run August to November and is aimed at giving players another link in their development pathway towards Super Rugby and ultimately Wallabies selection.
Queensland Rugby is fielding two teams in the competition – Brisbane City and Queensland Country – with Reds players split between the two squads. Players were chosen for either City or Country based on their existing player pathway and high performance discretion, to ensure an even split between the two sides.
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