Brisbane City head coach Jim McKay has named his match-day 23 for Sunday’s Round 2 clash with Sydney at Bond University Rugby club on the Gold Coast.
City will take on Sydney at 1:00pm in the first of two National Rugby Championship (NRC) fixtures at ‘the Canal’, with Bond University Queensland Country facing the Canberra Vikings at 3:00pm in game two of the double header.
After a 22-22 draw to defending premiers the Fijian Drua in Round 1, McKay has made eight changes to his starting XV, with University of Queensland’s Brad Twidale set to make his Brisbane City and NRC debut at outside centre.
Former Perth Spirit representative Jordan Luke will make his Brisbane City debut on the wing, while fellow ex-Spirit utility back Maaloga Konelio will potentially make his City debut off the bench.
McKay said: “Brad, Jordan and Maaloga have all been picked on merit and they deserve their opportunity after impressive seasons in club Rugby.
“It’s exciting for them, it’s exciting for the team and we’ve got full confidence in their ability at the next level.
“Last week we showed a terrific attitude and work ethic, the effort that went into the game was outstanding.
“It was only the start for us and we’re looking to build on that against Sydney.
“They showed a lot of resilience last week to come back so we don’t underestimate them, but our focus is on us and what we can bring to the game.
“A double header at Bond University is a really good advertisement for Rugby and there should be a lot of fans down there.
“It’s really important that both City and Country rip in,” said McKay.
Dave Feao and Maile Ngauamo both make their return to the City line-up alongside Josh Nasser in the front row, while Brothers lock Brad Kapa, who will run on for his first start for Brisbane, will partner Rob Puliuvea in the second row.
Brisbane City’s current most-capped player, Adam Korczyk, will make his first start for the side in 2019, with captain Fraser McReight and number-eight Seru Uru retaining their spots in the backrow.
St.George Queensland Reds playmakers Moses Sorovi and Isaac Lucas will continue their partnership in the halves after a successful opening fixture against the Drua.
Newstead Brewing Hospital Challenge Cup winner Twidale has been picked to make his NRC debut at outside-centre after an outstanding Queensland Premier Rugby season, as sharpshooter Isaac Henry also earns his first start at number 12.
Norths flyers Sefa Naivalu and Luke take their place on the wings, while Teti Tela will start at fullback.
Brisbane City will take on Sydney at 1:00pm at Bond University in the first match of an NRC double header on the Gold Coast. The fixture will be shown LIVE on rugby.com.au and Kayo Sports
Brisbane City team to face Sydney at 1:00pm (AEST) Sunday 8 September – Bond University Rugby Club, Gold Coast
1. Dave Feao – Sunnybank
2. Maile Ngauamo - GPS
3. Josh Nasser – University of Queensland
4. Brad Kapa - Brothers
5. Rob Puliuvea - Wests
6. Adam Korczyk – University of Queensland
7. Fraser McReight (c) – Brothers
8. Seru Uru – Easts
9. Moses Sorovi – Wests
10. Isaac Lucas - Sunnybank
11. Jordan Luke** – Norths
12. Isaac Henry – Wests
13. Brad Twidale* – University of Queensland
14. Sefa Naivalu – Norths
15. Teti Tela - Souths
16. Sean Farrell – Souths
17. Dane Zander – Norths
18. Ruan Smith – GPS
19. Michael Wood – Brothers
20. Sam Wallis – University of Queensland
21. Nick Chapman – Norths
22. Hunter Paisami – Wests
23. Maaloga Konelio*** – GPS
* denotes Brisbane City and NRC debut
** denotes Brisbane City debut
*** denotes potential Brisbane City debut