Sydney and the NSW Country Eagles have named their teams ahead of their final round clashes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC).
The Eagles and the Vikings will kick things off in the nation’s capital, as a long-distance curtain raiser to the Wallabies final pool fixture in the Rugby World Cup.
It’s a do-or-die clash for both sides with a win guaranteeing a spot in the finals, while the loser’s playoff ambitions will be reliant on other results across the weekend.
Ned Hanigan is the major omission from Rob Taylor’s side, following a minor injury last week in the Eagles narrow loss to QLD Country.
Nick Champion De Crespigny moves to blindside, with Will Harris starting at no.8.
Harry Johnson-Holmes returns to the starting XV alongside Sydney University teammate, Tom Horton in the front row.
For Sydney, Mitch Short will maintain the captaincy in Lalkai Foketi’s absence, with Ben Donaldson remaining at flyhalf and Will Harrison at fullback.
Chris Whitaker’s side will take on the table-topping Western Force at Woollahra in their final game of the season.
NSW Country Eagles (v Vikings):
STARTING XV: 1.Tom Robertson, 2.Tom Horton, 3.Harry Johnson-Holmes, 4.Pat Tafa, 5.Tom Staniforth, 6. Nick Champion De Crespigny, 7.Maclean Jones, 8.Will Harris, 9.Jake Gordon ©, 10.Connor O’Shea, 11.Mark Nawaqaintawse, 12.Joey Walton 13.Ofa Manuofetoa, 14.Ben Wollett, 15.Tim Clements
SUBS: 16.Andrew Tuala, 17.Angus Bell, 18.Chris Talakai, 19. Nathan Den Hoedt, 20. Connor Vest, 21.Nigel Ah Wong, 22.Jack Grant, 23.James Kane
Sydney (v Western Force):
STARTING XV: 1.Rory O'Connor, 2.Ed Craig, 3.Shambeckler Vui, 4.Ryan McCauley, 5.Jack Digby, 6.Jordan Goddard, 7.Charlie Gamble, 8.Hugh Sinclair, 9.Mitch Short ©, 10.Ben Donaldson, 11.Ben Marr, 12.Tyson Davis, 13.James Ramm, 14.Triston Reilly, 15.Will Harrison
SUBS: 16.Joe Cotton, 17.Charle Abel, 18.Tom Osborne, 19.Tu’itakau Kioa, 20.Christain Poidevin, 21.Michael McDonald, 22.Trent Winterstein, 23. Declan Moore
Canberra Vikings v NSW Country
Friday 11 October
Streamed LIVE on Kayo Sports and RUGBY.com.au
Sydney v Western Force
Saturday 12 October
LIVE on Fox Sports 505 and streamed on Kayo Sports and RUGBY.com.au