Super Rugby


Bond University Queensland Country side named for maiden NRC Grand Final against Canberra Vikings

Bond University Queensland Country head coach Brad Thorn has named his match-day 23 for their maiden National Rugby Championship grand final appearance, which will see them face the Canberra Vikings at Viking Park in Canberra this Saturday, 11 November at 6:30pm AEST.
Only one change has been made to the starting XV that ran out against the Fijian Drua in Toowoomba last Sunday, with St.George Queensland Reds prop James Slipper ruled out through injury.
Easts Tigers and 2016 Australian U20s front-rower Richie Asiata will start at loose-head prop, earning his Queensland Country and NRC starting debut.
With Asiata’s promotion from the reserves, Bond University and Queensland U20s prop Gavin Luka will make a timely return from injury to provide frontrow cover from the bench.
The combination of Asiata, Alex Mafi and Taniela Tupou will see the Queensland U20s 2016 starting frontrow reunited. They’ll be joined in the forward pack by locks Harry Hockings and Angus Blyth, as well as backrowers Angus Scott-Young, Tai Ford and Caleb Timu.
Having featured in every Queensland Country match since the NRC’s inception in 2014, James Tuttle will fittingly start at scrumhalf, partnered in the halves by flyhalf Hamish Stewart.
Captain Duncan Paia’aua and Chris Feauai-Sautia will combine in the centres, while the back-three will feature wingers Eto Nabuli and Filipo Daugunu, as well as fullback Patrick James.
In the reserves, Alex Casey, Garrath Ryan, Luka, Phil Potgieter and Ted Postal will provide cover for the forwards, while backs Tate McDermott, Teti Tela and Tony Hunt have been named.
Having progressed from finishing the 2016 NRC season at the bottom of the ladder to making the 2017 grand final, Thorn has been happy to see his side grow and develop throughout the season.
“We started our campaign with a goal of reaching the business end of the season and through the group’s hard work and buy in, we’re in a situation no Queensland Country side has been in before,” said Thorn.
“It’s taken the efforts of our entire squad to get to this stage of the season, and that is evidenced by our change in the frontrow this weekend.
“While Slipper is a loss for the side, both Richie (Asiata) and Gav (Luka) now have a chance to step up and test themselves. Throughout the season we’ve seen plenty of players within our squad seize their opportunities and I’m confident in the ability of each player within our 23 this weekend.
“The Vikings will be a tough challenge for our side. They’ve been in great form throughout the season and after going down to them in Round 1, our team are hungry for another chance to test themselves against a strong team.
“We’ve had great support from the Queensland Country Rugby community throughout the season and we want to give back and make them proud this weekend.”
The grand final match between Queensland Country and the Canberra Vikings will kick-off at 6:30pm AEST at Viking Park, and will be broadcast LIVE via Fox Sports CH505.
Bond University Queensland Country side to contest the NRC grand final in Canberra: 
1. Richie Asiata – Easts (Starting debut) 
2. Alex Mafi - Bond University, Gold Coast
3. Taniela Tupou - Brothers
4. Harry Hockings - University of Queensland, Bowen
5. Angus Blyth - Bond University, Gold Coast
6. Angus Scott-Young - University of Queensland
7. Tai Ford - Bond University, Gold Coast
8. Caleb Timu - Souths
9. James Tuttle - GPS
10.Hamish Stewart - Bond University, Toowoomba
11. Eto Nabuli - GPS
12. Duncan Paia'aua (c) - Norths, Rockhampton
13. Chris Feauai-Sautia - Souths
14. Filipo Daugunu - Wests
15. Patrick James - Brothers
16. Alex Casey - Souths
17. Gareth Ryan - Brothers
18. Gavin Luka - Bond University, Gold Coast (Potential Queensland Country and NRC debut)
19. Phil Potgieter - University of Queensland, Toowoomba
20. Ted Postal - Brothers
21. Tate McDermott - University of Queensland, Sunshine Coast
22. Teti Tela - Souths
23. Tony Hunt - University of Queensland

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