Sep 10 • Australia, General News • 2140 Views • Comments Off on PERTH SPIRIT READY FOR MELBOURNE RISING

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The Perth Spirit will run out a fresh forward pack to take on the Melbourne Rising on Thursday night in Round Four of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.

Four players will make their starting debuts, including the all new front-row combination of Palmyra’s Joe Savage, UWA’s Harry Scoble and Perth Bayswater’s Chris Heiberg.

WA Under 20 openside flanker Richard Hardwick (UWA) will also make his run-on debut, and will play opposite Western Force heavyweight, Brynard Stander, who will pull on the black and gold jersey for a second time, filling the blindside flanker role. Perth Bayswater’s Brent Murphy moves into the second-row while Associates No.8, Alex Rovira, retains his spot at No.8.

Western Force and Wests Scarborough lock Rory Walton returns to the starting XV and will captain the side while Associates’ Justin Turner has been elevated to starting scrumhalf. The back line remains unchanged for the clash with the Rising.

On the bench, Cottesloe’s Robbie Abel, Alec Hepburn and Oliver Hoskins will provide cover for the front row and UWA’s Corey Thomas and Wests Scarborough’s Kane Koteka will back up the second and back rows. Davis Tavita (Nedlands) and Va’a Mailei (Palmyra), who scored the Spirit’s final try against the Greater Sydney Rams last weekend, will again make their impact from the bench.

Neddies scrumhalf, Michael Ruru, has been named on the bench and is in line to make his Perth Spirit debut after returning from a hamstring injury.

Perth Spirit coach, David Wessels, said the side had regrouped and worked hard in their five-day turnaround.

“We know that a high work rate and playing for each other will need to continue to be a feature of our game this week against a strong Melbourne line-up,” Wessels said.

“Last week taught us that we can’t afford to switch off at any stage and we need to understand and respect the ebbs and flows of the game, and play to those accordingly.

“This week we have an opportunity to run out a settled 23-man squad, which features a strong mix of both Western Force representatives and players from our Pindan Premier Grade. We’ve stayed on the road this week and the guys to a man have worked very hard to prepare for this match, get through considerable rugby content as well as enjoying each other’s company.”

Thursday night’s match between the Melbourne Rising and Perth Spirit can be seen live on Fox Sports 2 and 2HD from 5.30pm (AWST).

2014 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship – Week Four
Perth Spirit v Melbourne Rising
AAMI Stadium, Melbourne
Thursday, 11 September 2014
Kick-off: 7.30pm (local)/ 5.30pm (AWST)

1. Joe Savage (Palmyra)
2. Harry Scoble (UWA)
3. Chris Heiberg (Perth Bayswater)
4. Rory Walton (Wests Scarborough)
5. Brent Murphy (Perth Bayswater)
6. Brynard Stander (Nedlands)
7. Richard Hardwick (UWA)
8. Alex Rovira (Associates)
9. Justin Turner (Associates)
10. Dillyn Leyds (Palmyra)
11. Nili Fielea (Cottesloe)
12. Luke Burton (UWA)
13. Ammon Matuauto (Associates)
14. Brad Lacey (Wests Scarborough)
15. Zack Holmes (Associates)

16. Robbie Abel (Cottesloe)
17. Alec Hepburn (Cottesloe)
18. Oliver Hoskins (Cottesloe)
19. Corey Thomas (UWA)
20. Kane Koteka (Wests Scarborough)
21. Michael Ruru (Nedlands)
22. Davis Tavita (Nedlands)
23. Va’a Mailei (Palmyra)

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