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Rising make one change for Brisbane City

The Melbourne Rising have made one change to the starting line-up for Sunday afternoon’s game against Brisbane City at Wests Bulldogs Rugby Union Club in Brisbane from 4.00pm (AEST) / 5.00pm (AEDT).

Rising head coach Zane Hilton has welcomed back experienced scrumhalf Nic Stirzaker to the starting XV and Wallabies hooker Jordan Uelese for the clash against Brisbane City, who are knocking on the door of the National Rugby Championship’s top four.

Stirzaker, who was influential in the opening three rounds of the Rising season, has missed the last three rounds of the NRC after an ankle injury ahead of the side’s fourth-round game against the Greater Sydney Rams.

The 26-year-old’s inclusion is a boost to the Rising, who are chasing a second straight win in the Queensland capital.

“Nic’s return from injury is a welcome inclusion this weekend with his experience and leadership to be a valuable asset against a very difficult side in Brisbane City,” Hilton said.

“Brisbane City will be full of confidence as they chase a spot in the finals but it will be a great experience and opportunity for our younger players to test themselves against an international quality side across the park.”

It’s just the second time this season that Hilton has had the luxury to name an unchanged forward pack for consecutive weeks after lock Alex Toolis successfully returned from a long-term injury against the Canberra Vikings last weekend.

Uelese is set to make his second appearance for the Rising this season after the 20-year-old hooker came off the bench against the Perth Spirit in the opening round of the 2017 campaign.

Uelese’s selection to provide fresh legs off the bench on Sunday follows his return from Wallabies duty where he made his international debut against South Africa and scored against Argentina in Canberra.

The Rising have won two of the three previous meetings between the two sides, including a 61-point win against City in the only game in Brisbane during the inaugural season. The Rising claimed a 46-28 victory when the two teams met at Harlequin Park in the fourth round last season.

The National Rugby Championship (NRC) will be raising awareness and much-needed funds for Leukemia Foundation during this weekend’s seventh round with the games to be played with a blue rugby ball. Fans are being encouraged to donate with either a Leukemia Foundation member or a donation box with banners set up at each of the home games.

2017 National Rugby Championship – Round 7
Brisbane City v Melbourne Rising
Sunday 15 October 2017
Wests Bulldogs Rugby Union Club, Brisbane
Kick-off: 4.00pm (AEST) / 5.00pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: LIVE STREAM via foxsports.com.au.
Live Updates: www.twitter.com/MelbourneRebels

Melbourne Rising team for Round 7 v Brisbane City:

  1. Rory O’Connor
  2. Siliva Siliva
  3. Fereti Sa’aga
  4. Jason Havea
  5. Alex Toolis
  6. Rob Leota
  7. Ikapote Tupai
  8. Lopeti Timani
  9. Nic Stirzaker
  10. Jack McGregor
  11. Henry Hutchison
  12. Lloyd Johansson
  13. Sione Tuipulotu
  14. Kitione Ratu
  15. Jack Maddocks

Reserves

  1. Jordan Uelese
  2. Tom Moloney
  3. Pone Fa’amausili
  4. Sione Taufa
  5. Mahe Vailanu
  6. Harrison Goddard
  7. Hunter Paisami
  8. Angelo Leaupepe