Bond University Queensland Country head coach Rod Seib has named his side for their Round 3 National Rugby Championship (NRC) clash against Sydney at Woollahra Oval this Saturday, 14 September.
The Country side will this weekend welcome back two St.George Queensland Reds and Country stalwarts in Chris Feauai-Sautia and Alex Mafi. Feauai-Sautia will start at outside centre, while Mafi has been named in the reserves.
Feauai-Sautia’s return is one of five changes to the starting XV, with prop George Francis and last week’s debutant Gavin Luka both named in the frontrow, while Rockhampton product Jerry Lynch has been named to start at blindside flanker, seeing captain Angus Scott-Young shift to openside.
In the backs, Brothers flyhalf Rohan Saifoloi will start at flyhalf in place of Carter Gordon, after missing last week’s clash against the Canberra Vikings.
Prop Carter Ozanne and backrower Dillon Wihongi have both been rotated to the reserves this week while former Townsville junior and Wests scrumhalf Liam Dillon has been named for his potential NRC and Queensland Country debut.
“The strength of our squad this year is our depth,” said Seib.
“We’re fortunate to have a wealth of talent within the Country ranks and throughout the NRC we will look to give players opportunities.
“Jerry Lynch and Liam Dillon are great examples of this. Jerry has been in great form for Wests this season and has provided plenty of impact off the bench in the first two rounds, he’ll get his opportunity to start this weekend.
“Liam has been unlucky the last few years not to feature in the NRC. He’s had a couple of quality seasons of Premier Rugby but we’ve been spoiled for choice in terms of halfbacks in Queensland and he’s unfortunately missed out on selection up until this year.
“Both of these players are genuine Country products as well, with Jerry coming through Rockhampton juniors and Liam hailing from Townsville, so they're great role models for juniors from our regional areas.
“Sydney pushed Brisbane City at various stages of last weekend’s game and they’ll be a different beast at home this weekend so we need to be prepared for a tough challenge.
“As a team, we’re still looking to improve with each match and we’ll be focused on building upon our performance against the Vikings this weekend.”
Queensland Country will play Sydney at Woollahra Oval this Saturday, September 14, kicking off at 12:00pm (AEST). The game will be streamed LIVE via rugby.com.au and Kayo.