James Dalgleish to lead Brisbane City in must win NRC ‘Quarter Final’
UQ flyhalf James Dalgleish will wear the Brisbane City No.10 jersey for this first time this year in Saturday’s must win final round match against NSW Country in Orange.
After leading the Red Heavies to the 2017 QLD Premier Rugby title, Dalgleish has missed most of the NRC regular season with syndesmosis, but returns in a timely fashion, with Quade Cooper set to miss to clash to play with the Barbarians against the Wallabies.
Sam Talakai will captain the side in the absence of regular skipper Andrew Ready who will also play with the Barbarians on Saturday.
Talakai will pack down in the front row with Reuben Leilua at loosehead and Ryan Freney at hooker. Both will make their run-on debuts for Brisbane City.
Wests lock Tevita Ratuva also comes into the starting side for his run-on debut while Pat Morrey returns at blindside flanker.
In the backline, Sunnybank’s Junior Laloifi will start on the wing for the first time this year while Jayden Ngamanu and Maaloga Konelio also return.
UQ forwards Campbell Wakely and Sam Reiser are both in line for their potential Brisbane City debuts from the bench.
“We were obviously very disappointed with how we performed in the second half last week but the boys took ownership of that performance and we’ve had a good week of training,” City coach Mick Heenan said.
“Our season is on the line and if we show up to Orange with a determined mindset we’ll give ourselves a chance.
“It’s a new-look front row for us but Ryan (Freney) has performed well for GPS this year and Reuben (Leilua) really strengthened our scrum at Uni when he returned for the finals series. They’ll both benefit from having Sam’s (Talakai) experience there.
“We’re lucky to have James Dalgleish in our squad with Quade Cooper unavailable due to Barbarians duties. He’s a talented young flyhalf who has steered UQ to two premierships in the last four years.
“Campbell (Wakely) and Sam (Reiser) both get an opportunity at the next level and I’m excited to see how they go,” Heenan said.
Brisbane City side to face NSW Country Eagles
- Reuben Leilua – University of Queensland (Brisbane City run-on debut)
- Ryan Freney – GPS (Brisbane City run-on debut)
- Sam Talakai – Reds/Brothers
- Tevita Ratuva – Wests (Brisbane City run-on debut)
- Dan Gorman – GPS
- Pat Morrey – University of Queensland
- Michael Gunn – Reds/Easts
- Michael Richards – GPS
- Nick Frisby – Reds/GPS
- James Dalgleish – University of Queensland
- Junior Laloifi – Sunnybank
- Chris Kuridrani – Reds/GPS
- Maaloga Konelio – GPS
- Jayden Ngamanu – Reds/Souths
- Jake Strachan – Sunnybank
- Campbell Wakely – University of Queensland (Potential Brisbane City debut)
- Markus Vanzati – Reds/Souths
- Feao Fotuaika – Sunnybank
- Sam Reiser – University of Queensland (Potential Brisbane City debut)
- Jack de Guingand – University of Queensland
- Moses Sorovi – Reds/University of Queensland
- Alex Horan – University of Queensland
- Dylan Riley – Bond University