PREVIEW: National Rugby Championship, Round Four

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 08:24
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The National Rugby Championship (NRC) has so far delivered enthralling, exciting and telling matches.

We take a look at all the Round Four action!

Saturday, September 17:

Sydney Rays v Country Eagles
(Pittwater Park, Sydney - Kick-off 13.00 AEST)

This top of the table clash sees Rio Olympian teammates going head to head (Rays Cam Clark and Con Foley, and Eagle Tom Cusack) in this classic City versus Country clash.

Waratahs flank Jack Dempsey returns for the Country Eagles, but the Rays head coach will be determined not to end his 16-match winning streak.

Brisbane City v Melbourne Rising
(Harlequins Oval, Melbourne - Kick-off 15.00 AEST)

Captain Nic Stirzaker returns for the Rising, amongst four other changes to the starting XV.

Defending premiers Brisbane City have made four changes as they look to resurrect their title defence despite Leroy Houston returning to Bath.

Sunday, September 18:

Sydney Rams v Vikings
(Viking Park, Canberra - Kick-off 13.00 AEST)

Jarrad Butler and Joe Powell return to help the Vikings defend the Horan-Little Shield.

While the Rams have named former Wallaby and Western Force veteran Nathan Charles to make his NRC debut alongside Will Skelton and Vatemo Ravouvou.

Perth Spirit v Queensland Country
(UWA Sports Park, Perth - Kick-off 15.00 AEST - 13.00 AWST)

The Spirit have named their strongest team of the season with Wallabies Ben McCalman and Luke Morahan bolstering the lineup for the home game.

Head coach Toutai Kefu has named Conor Mitchell to captain Country for the first time, as they look to arrest their losing streak.

2016 NRC standings after Round Three:

Sydney Rays - 14 points
Country Eagles - 13 points
Vikings - 10 points
Perth Spirit - 8 points
Melbourne Rising - 6 points
Brisbane City - 4 points
Sydney Rams - 2 points
Queensland Country - 1 point