Brisbane City head coach Jim McKay has named his side for their final regular season fixture of the National Rugby Championship (NRC) against the Melbourne Rising at Easts Rugby Union Club on Saturday.
City need a win to keep their finals hopes alive, with the results of Round 7 determining the final makeup of the top-four.
McKay has made four changes to his starting-XV, with Teti Tela returning from injury at inside centre, Dane Zander and newly-appointed captain Brandon Paenga-Amosa starting in the frontrow and Ryan Smith moving back into the run-on side at lock.
Fijian U20s product Ilaisa Droasese will potentially make his Brisbane City and NRC debut off the bench.
McKay said: “It’s a strong team and the players chosen have shown consistency throughout the season and have been rewarded with selection for this game.
“In the frontrow, Dane gets another opportunity to start alongside Brandon who will also captain the team in Fraser’s absence.
“Ryan will start again and then with Teti coming back in, his experience and leadership will be invaluable for us.
“It’s an important game for us, we have everything to play for.
“We’re playing at home at Easts, and it the context of the season, we need to win to make the finals, so we’ll be focusing heavily on our performance.
“Melbourne have had a better second-half of the season, so they’ll be a strong opposition.
“Each game is special representing City and we’re very determined to put our best foot forward in front of our home fans,” McKay said.
Bryce Hegarty will make his second starting appearance for Brisbane City at fullback alongside wingers Sefa Naivalu and Jordan Luke, who scored a double in City’s narrow loss to the Force last round.
Tela reprises his combination with Hunter Paisami in the centres, while Isaac Lucas and Nick Chapman will again steer the side around the park in the halves.
In the backrow, Sam Wallis will make his first start at openside flanker, with Adam Korczyk returning to the loose forwards alongside Seru Uru at number-eight.
Smith and Rob Puliuvea start at lock, while the experienced Ruan Smith and Paenga-Amosa will combine with Norths youngster Zander in the front-row.
Brisbane City will take on the Rising at Easts Rugby Union Club at 3:00PM AEST this Saturday 12 October. The match will be streamed LIVE via rugby.com.au and Kayo Sports.