Brisbane City head coach Jim McKay has named his side to take on the ladder-leading Western Force in Round 6 of the National Rugby Championship (NRC) this Sunday 6 October in Perth.
Experienced prop Ruan Smith returns to the side after a two-week layoff, while St.George Queensland Reds duo Sean Farrell and Bryce Hegarty have been selected to make their City starting debuts.
Dave Feao, Sam Wallis, Isaac Henry and Hunter Paisami round out the new additions to the starting side after City’s 42-26 loss to Bond University Queensland Country in Gladstone last round.
McKay said: “The Force are competition leaders so it’s a great opportunity to measure ourselves against a strong side.
“As far as we’re concerned, every game we have fronted up and the attitude and energy from the team has been superb, however we understand that we let ourselves down in the first-half against Queensland Country.
“We’ve got no excuses and we take ownership of that, so there’d be nothing better than getting back on track in Perth this weekend.
“We’ve got Ruan Smith coming back and his experience will be great for the team with Bryce Hegarty also making his first start at fullback this season.
“Sam Wallis and Nick Chapman both get opportunities to start after terrific NRC campaigns so far and then in the centres we have an all-Wests combination in Isaac Henry and Hunter Paisami.
“There’s some exciting changes and we’re going over there to give it everything we’ve got and we’re looking forward to representing Brisbane City.
“In the context of the season, it’s very, very close now so it’s an important game as far as the standings go.
“We have to focus on ourselves and putting the record straight from last week because that was uncharacteristic from us after what we’ve shown this season so far,” McKay said.
After making his City debut off the bench last week, Hegarty will start at fullback with the electric Jordan Luke and Sefa Naivalu on the wings.
Isaac Henry and Hunter Paisami will reprise their Queensland Premier Rugby combination in the centres after standout club Rugby seasons for Wests, while in the halves, Isaac Lucas will partner Chapman in what is the Norths utility’s first start at scrumhalf for City this season.
Wallis, Seru Uru and captain Fraser McReight make up the backrow with Adam Korczyk shifting to lock alongside Rob Puliuvea.
Smith headlines a new-look frontrow and will pack down with starting debutant Sean Farrell and Dave Feao.
Wests backrower Connor Anderson and GPS flyer Maaloga Konelio will both make their second appearances of the season off the bench.
Round 6 of the NRC will also see all teams come together in support of Rural Aid.
Rugby Australia will match dollar-for-dollar the money collected at NRC grounds on game day. You can also make a donation via this link: http://bit.ly/RuralAid2019.
Brisbane City will face the Force at the University of Western Australia at 5:00PM AEST this Sunday 6 October. The match will be streamed LIVE via rugby.com.au and Kayo Sports.