Tom Banks believes the Canberra Vikings have the depth and talent to claim their maiden National Rugby Championship title as they look to secure a spot in the finals.
Canberra will have a chance to cement their place in the competition's top-four when they clash with the Sydney Rays at Vikings Park on Saturday.
Only six points separate second and sixth on the ladder as teams stake their claim for finals spots with only two matches remaining of the regular season.
The Vikings sit third after winning three from five matches so far this season. Banks believes they can go all the way with five capped Wallabies and a strong contingent of Super Rugby players in the squad.
"It's probably something we haven't spoken about enough but especially with the squad we've got this year, we really have the depth and the talent to be able to win it," Banks said.
"We've got a really good leadership team which strives from the Brumbies. A lot of the players have put their best foot forward and really are leading the boys well."
Nick Scrivener's side need to finish second to secure a home semi-final at Viking Park.
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A loss against Sydney would put the Vikings in a must-win scenario for the final round against a strong NSW Country outfit.
The Rays are dwelling in the dungeon with only one win and five losses, but Banks says the Vikings aren't taking the Sydneysiders lightly.
"Sydney are a tough team, they had a hard loss the other weekend but they're looking to bounce back," Banks said.
"They'll come out strong but we need to continue from last week and keep building momentum."
Captain Darcy Swain, Pete Samu and Irae Simone have been named for their sixth consecutive start of the season while lock Nick Frost will make his starting debut in the second row.
Toni Pulu has been rotated to the bench while Tom Wright switches to No.14. The move gives Mack Hansen an opportunity to start on the left wing after scoring last week.
The Vikings have scored 21 from 26 tries from their back-line, which will be steered by Will Miller, Pete Samu and Rob Valetini on Saturday.
"It's not a surprising statistic. The NRC is more free-flowing but certainly, if you look at the profile of our side, our backline is quite strong and has speed," Scrivener said.
"We don't score a lot of maul tries, a lot of our tries come from unstructured play, kick returns and set plays. It's an enjoyable sort of rugby to play."
Meanwhile Solomone Kata has confirmed his departure from the Melbourne Storm is expected to sign with the Brumbies in the coming weeks.
Kata played 93 games for the New Zealand Warriors before joining Melbourne earlier this year, but is set to make the leap to rugby union after failing to make their NRL team.
"I've really enjoyed my time here at Storm and made some good friends over the past few months," Kata said.
"However another opportunity has come up that I'm keen to explore so I won't be with the club next year."
"I'd like to thank everyone at Storm for making me feel so welcome and wish the boys all the best in 2020."
NRC ROUND SIX
Saturday: Canberra Vikings v Sydney Rays at Viking Park, 12pm.
Vikings: 1. Bo Abra, 2. Connal McInerney 3. Angus Wagner, 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Nick Frost, 6. Pete Samu, 7. Will Miller, 8. Rob Valentini, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Bayley Kuenzle, 11. Mack Hansen, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Tom Wright, 15. Tom Banks. Reserves: 16. Lachlan Lonergan, 17. Fred Kaihea, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Blake Enever, 20. Angus Allen, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Toni Pulu, 23. George Morseu