McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City will benefit from a significant boost in experience across the park this Saturday, as returning Wallabies Will Genia, James Hanson and Jake Schatz don the yellow and blue to take on the University of Canberra Vikings.
Hanson will make his Buildcorp National Rugby Championship debut as starting hooker for Brisbane City against the Vikings as the curtain raiser to the third Bledisloe Cup Test at Suncorp Stadium this Saturday.
He will be joined by Wallabies and Reds teammates Schatz at starting Number 8 and Genia as a reserve scrumhalf.
Round 9 is the final round of the NRC regular season but is Hanson’s first involvement, while Schatz and Genia previously represented Brisbane City before being called into the Wallabies touring squad for The Rugby Championship.
City coach Nick Stiles said all three would bring added leadership to the group in an important game.
“We’re thrilled to have Will, James and Jake available for Brisbane City this weekend. They are some of the more experienced members of the St.George Queensland Reds squad and they’re Test quality players, that’s invaluable experience to be bringing into our young group.
“Two of them have already made good contributions to this team throughout the competition and I’m sure James will have heard stories of the boys singing the team song in the sheds and will want to replicate that experience on his debut.
“We’re coming off the back of a strong win against the North Harbour Rays, so the added experience from those three can only strengthen the team.
“We know the Vikings are a good side and we know the importance of this match. This is a great opportunity to try and gain second place ahead of the finals. It’s also an opportunity for our players to experience and enjoy the thrill of playing at Suncorp Stadium ahead of a Test match.
“Throughout the NRC this side has been a good mix of Reds players and club Rugby players and this match is another opportunity to showcase the strength of Queensland Rugby’s pathway.”
Stiles has made nine changes to the starting side which defeated the North Harbour Rays 77-26 in Sydney last week.
In the forwards, Easts’ Pettowa Paraka returns to starting loosehead prop, with Souths’ David Feao shifting to the bench. Hanson will start at hooker, with Reds EPS member Andrew Ready moving to the bench. Sef Faagase has retained his spot at tighthead prop.
GPS South African lock Marco Kotze returns to the starting lineup to replace University of Queensland skipper Tim Buchanan, who suffered a hip injury last week. Kotze is joined in the second row by City captain David McDuling.
The inclusion of Schatz in the back row shifts Curtis Browning to blindside flanker, with University of Queensland’s Adam Korczyk moving to the bench and Easts’ Michael Gunn retaining his spot at openside flanker.
In the backs, Nick Frisby remains at starting scrumhalf alongside returning flyhalf Jake McIntyre, after Quade Cooper was called into the Wallabies match-day squad for the Bledisloe Cup.
Easts stalwart Jack Mullins earns his first start at inside centre, with Samu Kerevi unavailable due to groin strain. Mullins is joined in the centres by Easts teammate Toby White.
The outside backs have also been shuffled, with Lachie Turner declared fit to start at fullback, moving Sunnybank’s Matt Feaunati to the wing. Chris Kuridrani retains his spot on the other wing.
Round 9 of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship is ‘Mental Health Round’ and principal partner Buildcorp has thrown its support behind national charity Lifeline.
Buildcorp, together with Queensland Rugby, RUPA and the other State Unions, are targeting $50,000 in funds raised across Round 9 of the NRC, the Bledisloe Test and at other Rugby events during the round to help expand Lifeline’s online Crisis Support Chat service.
As part of the fundraising efforts, all jerseys from the Brisbane City match will feature the Lifeline logo on the sleeve. The jerseys will be signed following the match and auctioned online at the Reds Online Auction.
Queensland Rugby will also raise funds for the program through a raffle at its Bledisloe Cup Long Lunch on Friday, and University of Queensland volunteers will be selling Buildcorp NRC Rugby balls in the concourse at Suncorp Stadium this Saturday.
For more information on ‘Mental Health Round’ click here.
Brisbane City play University of Canberra Vikings this Saturday, 18 October, at Suncorp Stadium at 4:35pm (AEST). The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.
McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City v University of Canberra Vikings
Suncorp Stadium, Saturday 18 October
1. Pettowa Paraka – Reds WTS/Easts
2. James Hanson – Reds/University of Queensland (Brisbane City/NRC debut)
3. Sef Faagase – Reds WTS/University of Queensland
4. Marco Kotze – GPS
5. David McDuling (C) – Reds/University of Queensland
6. Curtis Browning – Reds/University of Queensland
7. Michael Gunn – Reds WTS/Easts
8. Jake Schatz – Reds/Sunnybank
9. Nick Frisby – Reds/GPS
10. Jake McIntyre – Reds WTS/Sunnybank
11. Matt Feaunati – Sunnybank
12. Jack Mullins – Easts (run-on debut)
13. Toby White – Easts
14. Chris Kuridrani – Reds EPS/GPS
15. Lachie Turner – Reds/Easts
16. Andrew Ready – Reds EPS/Easts
17. David Feao – Souths
18. Phil Kite – Reds WTS/GPS
19. Adam Korczyk – University of Queensland
20. Chazz Mahina – Sunnybank
21. Will Genia – Reds/Wests
22. James Dalgleish – University of Queensland
23. Brando Va’aulu – Sunnybank