Dave Feltscheer and Michael Dowsett set to miss remainder of NRC

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North Harbour Rays fullback Dave Feltscheer and NSW Country Eagles halfback Michael Dowsett are both expected to miss the remainder of the 2015 NRC season after suffering injuries in the opening weeks of the tournament.

Feltscheer broke his hand in the first half of the Rays loss to the Sydney Stars last Saturday and whilst he won’t require surgery, the Warringah flyer is still expected to miss 8-10 weeks.

Brumbies halfback Dowsett will undergo scans in Sydney today after dislocating his shoulder at training on Monday. Although the Eagles are hopeful the 23-year-old could be back in 6 weeks, he may be forced to return to Canberra for surgery.

“It’s really disappointing, he’s looked really sharp over the last few weeks and I think he was really looking forward to playing some rugby,” Eagles coach Darren Coleman told Rugby News.

The Eagles were spoilt for choice at the base of the scrum in 2014, but have now lost Nic White, Brendan McKibbin, Mick Snowden, Dowsett and Jock Merriman (until round 6) for this year’s campaign.

Former Australian schoolboy and Randwick half Mitch Short has been called into the side for Saturday’s clash against the UC Vikings.

“Yeah when you look at it we haven’t had the best of luck, but that’s footy, injuries happen. We are all fully confident in Mitch’s ability so I’m looking forward to seeing him on Saturday,” Coleman said.

After a brilliant Shute Shield season for the Rats, Rays coach Geoff Townsend said he was disappointed to lose Feltscheer.

“Dave was coming into the NRC with plenty of confidence and he looked really good in the opening stages last week,” Townsend said.

Reece Hodge will start at fullback against Perth this weekend, but Townsend said he had a number of options to fill the number 15 jersey.

“We had an emerging Rays match last week and Sione Ala (Gordon) and John Porch (Norths) both looked really good, so there is a fair bit of depth at the back,” the coach added.

The Rays travel to Perth to face the Spirit on Saturday and will be looking to claim just the franchises second away victory in its short history.

“Last week was tough on the back of the Shute Shield final, so we’ll be much better prepared for this weekend. It won’t be easy but I think we’ll give it a good crack,” said Townsend.