GPS and University of Queensland sides named for Australian Club Championship matches


2018 Hospital Challenge Cup premiers GPS and runners up University of Queensland have confirmed their match-day 23s ahead ahead of this weekend’s Australian Club Championship at Ballymore.  

GPS captains Dan Gorman and Michael Richards hoist the Hospital Cup. Photo: Brendan Hertel.

2018 Hospital Challenge Cup premiers GPS and runners up University of Queensland have confirmed their match-day 23s ahead ahead of this weekend’s Australian Club Championship at Ballymore.  
Saturday will see University of Queensland take on Shute Shield grand finalists Warringah at 3:00pm, followed by the Round 4 Super W clash between the St.George Queensland Women’s XV and the Brumbies Women, before GPS take on Shute Shield champions Sydney University for the Australian Club Championship.
GPS broke a 22-year drought last year, claiming the clubs first Premier Grade tittle since 1996, and the Gallopers will be looking to make history again this weekend, with the club having never won the Australian Club Championship and no Queensland club having won the accolade since 2011.
Ten players that were part of the 2018 GPS grand final will return to Ballymore for Saturday’s clash, including captain Dan Gorman and vice-captain Michael Richards.
The Gallopers will be buoyed by the return of former St.George Queensland Reds winger Chris Kuridrani, who is back in Australia after most recently playing for Honda Heat in Japan.
University of Queensland will be bolstered by outside backs Jock Campbell and Will Eadie, who both earned St.George Queensland Reds contracts of the back of the 2018 Premier Rugby season.
GPS head coach Elwee Prinsloo said: “There is a really good vibe around the club at the moment.
“We identified a number of key areas to work on after last season and the boys have been working hard in the off season.”
While there has been a fair amount of turn over of players from the grand final, the Gallopers strength over the past few seasons has been their forward pack, which boasts size and experience including 209 cap lock Gorman, scrum doctor prop Fred Burke and hard-nosed backrower Mitch King, and this core group remains ahead of the 2019 season.
“While we’ve welcomed some new players to the club, the important thing is we have kept our forward pack together. We have a fair bit of maturity there which is valuable with young backs.”
While an Australian Club Championship would be a great accolade for the boys from Yoku Road, the team already have an eye on chasing back-to-back Hospital Challenge Cup titles, something no club has achieved in Premier Rugby since the Canberra Vikings were in the competition, winning three straight from 2001-2003.
“No doubt any game we play we want to win,” said Prinsloo.
“The key for us this year is improvement. If we continue to play the same style of Rugby with the same players we won’t even make the top four as other clubs have been building in the off-season as well. It is important for us to evolve our game.”
“Our kicking game is one area in particular we want to improve. If we can nail our set piece and defence together with a more proactive kicking game it will allow us a solid platform to attack from.
“We’re casing another Hospital Cup title this year and this weekend is our final outing before we start playing for points. If we can pull it off, it will be special for the club and for Queensland Rugby.
“Saturday is set to be a great afternoon of Rugby with interstate clashes between some of Australia’s oldest Rugby clubs as well as a Super W fixture on offer. I’d encourage Rugby fans to get down Ballymore and show their support for all the Queensland teams in action.”
Match schedule for Saturday:
3:00pm – University of Queensland vs Warringah
5:00pm – Super W: St.George Queensland Women’s XV v Brumbies Women (Streamed via Kayo and Rugby.com.au)
6:45pm – GPS v Sydney University (Broadcast live on Fox Sports)
Admission to Ballymore will be $10 upon entry.

GPS side to face Sydney University: 
1. Jethro Felemi 
2. Maile Ngauamo
3. Fred Burke
4. Ollie Bartlett
5. Dan Gorman (C)
6. Michael Richards (VC) 
7. Matt Gicquel 
8. Mitch King
9. Jordan Lenac 
10. DP de Lange 
11. Chris Kuridani 
12. Matt Leider
13. Malonga Konelio
14. Esera Tapeli Esera
15. Pat Nicholson 

16. Troy Simkin
17. Emosi Tuqiri
18. Jonah Pologa 
19. Kieran Johnston 
20. Dan Chui-Clarke
21. Elliot Turner 
22. Alfonso Horomia 
23. Isaac De Flavis 

University of Queensland side to face Warringah: 
1. Sam Mellor
2. Tom Mellor 
3. Kris Nielsen
4. Dominic Power
5. Tim Manns 
6. Patrick Morrey
7. Connor Moroney 
8. Sam Wallis
9. Jacobus Can Eeden
10. James Dalgleish (C)
11. Will Eadie
12. Christian Suemalo
13. Oliver Trenchard-Smith 
14. Clifton Setu
15. Jock Campbell

16. Charlie Smith
17. Pat Fepuleai 
18. Jonas Humbert
19. Sam Heilmann
20. Nathan Beil
21. Jakob Morrison
22. William Andersson
23. Braiden Oates