Brisbane City head coach Jim McKay has made one change to his starting side for Saturday’s National Rugby Championship (NRC) semi-final clash against the Force in Perth.
After booking a top-four four spot with an incredible defensive display against the Rising in the final round of fixtures, City now have the chance to qualify for the Grand Final this weekend in what will be their first finals appearance since 2015.
Prop Dave Feao comes into the starting front-row in place of Rhys van Nek who drops to the bench, while versatile Brothers back Lawson Creighton has returned to the matchday-23 via the bench.
McKay said: “Dave Feao comes in to start and after a late withdrawal last week and Lawson Creighton gets an opportunity off the bench after a really impressive season so far.
“The players selected have been rewarded for their consistency throughout the whole campaign, and we’ve developed combinations and cohesion in the past few weeks.
“The Force have finished top of the ladder for good reason. They’ve played consistently well and are a great side.
“For us, we’ve grown and stayed in the fight every game, especially after last week’s defensive display.
“It’s a good achievement to get to the finals, but now we’re here it’s about making the most of our opportunity and playing as well as we can.
“We’re representing Brisbane City and the whole of Queensland and we can’t wait to get over there and give it all we’ve got,” McKay said.
After impressing in his first 80-minute performance of the season last week, youngster Dane Zander starts in the front-row alongside captain Brandon Paenga-Amosa and the returning Feao.
Rob Puliuvea and Ryan Smith will again combine in the second row, while UQ pairing Adam Korczyk and Sam Wallis make up the loose forwards alongside number-eight Seru Uru.
At scrumhalf, Sunshine Coast product Nick Chapman will continue his breakout NRC season in partnership with flyhalf Isaac Lucas who currently leads the competition in try assists with seven.
Hunter Paisami and Teti Tela run on at centre, while the experienced Bryce Hegarty takes his place at fullback with flyers Sefa Naivalu and Jordan Luke on the wings.
Brisbane City will look to book a place in the NRC Grand Final when they take on the Force at 2:00pm AEST this Saturday 19 October at the University of Western Australia. The match will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports and live streamed via Kayo Sports and rugby.com.au.