NRC Squad Announcement: Brisbane City
The Super Rugby grand final takes place tomorrow night; the Intrust Super Shute Shield has two rounds of the regular season to go before heading into what should be a thrilling finale, while the Queensland Premier and John I Dent comp finals kick-off this weekend. Oh, and don’t forget the Wallabies contest the opening Bledisloe Cup in a fortnight.
But even though Australian rugby is already basking in a bucketload of entertainment for lovers of the oval ball, there is yet another competition to get your teeth into soon as the fifth instalment of the National Rugby Championship (NRC) gets underway in a month’s time.
First cabs off the rank to announce their squads were the two Queensland-based sides this week, so let’s start with two-time champions, Brisbane City.
University of Queensland head coach Mick Heenan will again take charge after serving his apprenticeship in 2017, and he’s named a 36-man squad that encompasses 14 Queensland Reds, representatives from all nine Queensland Premier rugby sides, and 14 NRC debutants. He will be joined in the coaches box once again by assistant Elwee Prinsloo (GPS), with new addition Elia Tuqiri (Souths) also coming on board.
Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt are the two standout names given their talent, pedigree, and notorious omissions from the Queensland Reds ranks this season. But Heenan feels he has the balance in his squad to help take City back into the finals mix they fell agonisingly short of last time out.
“It’s pretty exciting to be so close to the NRC season again,” Heenan enthused. “We’ve managed to pull together a diverse group, which is probably an indication of how competitive the club season has been this year. We’ve got a mix of guys who can roll up their sleeves and others who offer some x-factor out wide, and you need both those elements to be successful in this competition.
“Elwee and I were keen to have another crack at the competition, and it’s great to add Elia to the coaching mix as well. I’ve known him for a long time and he’ll bring plenty of knowledge to the role. It was tough to finish the way we did last season, just missing out on finals. Consistency throughout the season hurt us, but we felt we were on the right track. We’ll build on that experience.”
City are taking the game out to the grassroots even more in 2019, with home games to be played at three Brisbane club grounds in Norths, Wests and Easts. They open with a clash at Courtney Oval, home of Norths, against the Western Force on Sunday 2nd September at 3pm.
Video courtesy of QRU Media Unit
BRISBANE CITY 2018 SQUAD
Props: Feao Fotuaika (Souths); Josh Nasser (University of Queensland); JP Smith (Queensland Reds/GPS); Ruan Smith (Queensland Reds/GPS); Misioka Timotea (Wests)
Hookers: Brandon Paenga-Amosa (Wallabies allocated player – Queensland Reds/Sunnybank); Andrew Ready (Queensland Reds/Easts); Moli Sooaemalelagi (Sunnybank)
Locks: Nathan Den Hoedt (Sunnybank); Jeremiah Lynch (Wests); Zach Moimoi (Bond University); Lukhan Tui (Wallabies allocated player – Queensland Reds/Souths): Jale Vakaloloma (Easts)
Back row: Matt Gicquel (GPS); Michael Gunn (Queensland Reds/Easts); Reece Hewat (Queensland Reds/Norths); Adam Korczyk (Queensland Reds/University of Queensland); Fraser McReight (Brothers); Pat Morrey (University of Queensland); Tuaina Tualima (Sunnybank); Dillon Wihongi (Wests)
Scrumhalves: Scott Gale (University of Queensland); Moses Sorovi (Queensland Reds/University of Queensland)
Flyhalves: Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds/Souths); James Dalgleish (University of Queensland)
Centres: Con Foley (University of Queensland); Matt Gordon (Easts); Samu Kerevi (Wallabies allocated player – Queensland Reds/Souths); Isaac Lucas (Sunnybank); Tautalatasi Tasi (Souths)
Outside backs: Lawson Creighton (Brothers); Alex Gibbon (Brothers); Karmichael Hunt (Queensland Reds/Souths); Lachlan Maranta (Queensland Reds/Wests); Jayden Ngamanu (Queensland Reds/Souths); Emori Waqavulagi (Souths)