Super Rugby


Bond University Queensland Country squad named for Round 2 clash against the Melbourne Rising in Townsville

Bond University Queensland Country head coach Rod Seib has named his match-day 23 for their 2018 National Rugby Championship (NRC) Round 2 clash against the Melbourne Rising at Townsville’s Mike Carney Toyota Park, this Sunday, September 9.  

This will be Country’s first match in Townsville since the competition’s inaugural year in 2014, and Seib has only made one change to his starting XV that claimed a Round 1 win over the Canberra Vikings in the Nation’s capital. 

Queensland Premier Rugby’s Alec Evans Medalist (player of the year) Tai Ford, will earn his first start of 2018, coming into the side for Caleb Timu at Number 8 who is unavailable for selection. 

A further two changes have been made in the reserves, with Brothers and Junior Wallabies representative Michael Wood in line for his potential NRC and Queensland Country debut, coming into the side for Rob Puli’uvea, who has been ruled out through injury. The second change will see Norths centre Tony Hunt come onto the bench, with Seib opting for a five-three split between forwards and backs this weekend.

The side features 11 capped St.George Queensland Reds, as well as Wallabies prop James Slipper, former Australian Sevens star Tom Lucas and a host of Queensland Premier Rugby’s best performers from the 2018 season. 

“It’s great to carry some stability in selection this week as we head north to Townsville to take on the Rising,” said Seib. 

“Last week’s win was a great team effort and those who featured, both in the starting XV and reserves, all contributed. 

“Tai Ford was a crucial part of last year’s Queensland Country campaign and will slot into the back of the scrum nicely this weekend. 

“Michael Wood has been a great addition to the squad so far this year and can cover both lock and the backrow, while we saw at the back end of last year what Tony (Hunt) is capable of at this level. Both of these players will add a lot to the squad this weekend. 

“While we started the season with a win, we identified a number of key areas we needed to improve and we’ve gone to work at training this week to rectify those. 

“Melbourne will be hurting after their Round 1 loss to Fiji and they boast a lot of Super Rugby experience within their squad, we need to be prepared for them this weekend. 

“Country haven’t played in Townsville since 2014, it will be special for the squad to get involved with the local Rugby community this weekend. This side represents the Queensland Country Rugby community and it’s important for us to give back to them.”  

Sunday’s match will form part of a massive weekend of Rugby for Townsville, with elimination finals across juniors and seniors in the local competition taking place on Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday the inaugural Townsville U16s and U18s juniors girls grand finals will act as curtain raisers to the clash between Queensland Country and the Rising. 

Tickets for the match will be $5 at the gate, with funds raised going towards Townsville and District Rugby Union. 

The match will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports channel 503 on Sunday afternoon, kicking off at 3:00pm. 

Queensland Country side to face Melbourne Rising: 
1. Harry Hoopert - Reds/Brothers – Jondaryn 
2. Alex Casey - Souths 
3. James Slipper – Reds/Bond University – Gold Coast 
4. Harry Hockings – Reds/University of Queensland – Bowen 
5. Angus Blyth – Reds/Bond University – Gold Coast
6. Angus Scott-Young – Reds/University of Queensland 
7. Liam Wright – Reds/Easts
8. Tai Ford – Bond University/Gold Coast
9. James Tuttle – Reds/GPS
10. Hamish Stewart – Reds/Bond University – Pittsworth 
11. Joey Fittock - Bond University – Gold Coast
12. Duncan Paia’aua – Reds/Norths - Rockhampton
13. Jordan Petaia - Reds/Wests
14. Jock Campbell - University of Queensland – Gold Coast
15. Tom Lucas - Sunnybank – Rockhampton 

16. Effi Ma’afu - Wests
17. Richie Asiata - Easts
18. Jake Simeon - Souths 
19. Michael Wood – Brothers*
20. Harry Wilson - Brothers
21. Tate McDermott – Reds/University of Queensland – Sunshine Coast 
22. Tony Hunt - Norths
23. Patrick James - Brothers 
*Denotes potential NRC and Queensland Country debut 

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