PREVIEW: National Rugby Championship, Round Six
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: All Black Brad Thorn will make his run on debut for Queensland Country this in Round Six when the Queenslanders play in the Country derby against the NSW Country Eagles in Toowoomba this Saturday.
The Eagles will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run in 2016 with head coach Darren Coleman making a sweeping nine changes to the side that defeated Perth last week.
The UC Vikings will be a looking for a crucial victory to maintain their position in the top four, with the men from Perth hot on their heels on the NRC ladder. The Western Sydney Rams travel south of the border to take on the Vikings after a confidence building win last weekend at Concord Oval.
Perth Spirit will be looking to build on their strong performances at home when they play Brisbane City and look to leapfrog into the top four.
We take a look at all the Round Six action!
Saturday, October 1:
Queensland Country v NSW Country Eagles
(Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba - Kick-off: 13.00 AEST)
Queensland Country won't be lacking experience this weekend in the Country derby with All Black Brad Thorn making his run on debut for the side.
With a top four spot secure, the Eagles have made nine changes for the clash with Wallabies hopeful Kyle Godwin retaining his spot in the centres alongside NSW Waratah David Horwitz.
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant referees: Jordan Way, Cameron Foley
Sydney Rays v UC Vikings
(Pittwater Park, Sydney - Kick-off: 15.00 AEST)
The Sydney Rays will look to keep the pressure on ladder-leaders Country Eagles when they take on the Vikings.
The Vikings are looking to bounce back after a last-up defeat to the Rising and have made a number of changes to the side that lost the Horan-Little Shield last weekend. Ray Dobson, Dan Penca, Jake Rakic and Eli Sinoti have all been named to make their first starts when they play in Sydney.
Referee: Nicholas Berry
Assistant referees: William Houston, Amy Perrett
TMO: Ian Smith
Sunday, October 2:
Melbourne Rising v Western Sydney Rams
(Harlequin Oval, Melbourne - Kick-off: 15.00 AEST)
The Rising stocks has been inflated with the inclusion of Wallabies Toby Smith and Dom Shipperley for their match at home against Western Sydney.
A win would all but secure their place in the top three into the semifinals, whilst the Rams are on the hunt for their second win of the season.
Referee: Edward Martin
Assistant referees: Daniel Coelho, Amber Hibbard
TMO: Oliver Kellett
Perth Spirit v Brisbane City
(UWA Sports Park, Perth - Kick-off: 14.00 AWST)
The Spirit will again look to rampaging Wallabies loose forward, Ben McCalman who continues to find his form after a shoulder injury with his third week in a row of NRC action for Perth when they take on the defending champions.
Brisbane City will need to take maximum points from this match if they are to have any chance of making the top four. Former Australian Under-20s star, Brad Lacey has moved to the centres in the only change for the side.
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper, Sam Jones