Canberra Vikings name squad for the 2017 National Rugby Championship season
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Canberra Vikings name squad for the 2017 National Rugby Championship season

The Canberra Vikings will push for their maiden National Rugby Championship title this season after bolstering their squad with 14 ACT Brumbies.

The Vikings have named a 38-man squad with Olympian Tom Cusack to skipper the upcoming eight-game season that kicks off against Queensland Country on September 2.

Tom Cusack.

Tom Cusack.Credit:Rohan Thomson

Coach Tim Sampson said the squad represents a good blend of players with Super Rugby experience, up-and-coming talent, as well as in-form club players.

"We are pretty fortunate to have the availability of so many Brumbies but at the same time I think it's also important to recognise the guys who've had big seasons in the John I Dent Cup," Sampson said.

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"There are players in the squad who the Brumbies have identified and took on tour to Singapore and also nine players involved in the Brumbies under-20s program.

"George Morseau is one who went to Singapore and with NRC style of rugby being such a fast game, I wanted him because he has plenty of pace."

Sampson said selecting Cusack to skipper proved and easy choice in the end and named Gungahlin teenager Mack Hansen as one to watch.

"Tommy is a good profile player, he's a Canberra local and grew up here and when I did the pre-christmas block coaching at the Brumbies he was someone who really impressed me with his work ethic and attitude, he's a genuine leader," Sampson said.

"I'm also looking forward to watching Mack Hansen who has come through the junior representative pathways system.

"His transformation from when I saw him at pre-christmas Brumbies training transformation to now has been an impressive eight months."

The Canberra side will host three of the first five rounds at Viking Park, including a massive Friday night clash against competition newcomers and excitement machines Fiji on September 29.

The Vikings Group has taken full control of the licence after the franchise was previously split three ways between the University of Canberra, the Vikings Group and the ACT Brumbies.

Canberra Vikings squad: Andrew Robinson, Andrew Muirhead, Angus Wagner, Angus Allen, Ben Hyne, Ben Johnston, Blake Enever, Brodie Leber, Darcy Swain, Dean Oakman-Hunt, Ernest Suavai, Falou Fainga'a, Fred Dorrough, George Morseau, Harry Lloyd, James Dargaville, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Josh White, Lausii Taliauli, Len Ikitau, Les Makin, Liam Mosely, Liam Rasch, Lolo Fakaosilea, Mack Hansen, Max Bode, Michael Oakman-Hunt, Pedro Rolando, Rob Valetini, Robbie Abel, Ryan Lonergan, Sam Thomas, Faalelei Sione, Sione Taula, Tom Cusack, Tom Banks, TP Luteru, Wharenui Hawera