9 Wallabies start for Rebels
Melbourne - The Melbourne Rebels have named their team for the opening game of the 2018 Super Rugby season against the Reds at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Friday.
Rebels coach Dave Wessels has named 10 international Test players in his starting line-up, including nine current Wallabies and a Japanese international.
After a back injury sidelined him from pre-season trials, new recruit Will Genia will make his much-anticipated first appearance for the Rebels after he was named at scrumhalf, alongside experienced flyhalf Jack Debreczeni.
Victorian prop Tetera Faulkner will run out in front of family and friends for the first time in a Rebels jersey next to home grown rake Jordan Uelese, who is set to make his run on debut at Super Rugby level.
Captain Adam Coleman and Matt Philip have been paired in an international second row while Wallaby and Japanese representatives Lopeti Timani and Amanaki Mafi, have been included in the back row with Angus Cottrell.
Experienced Rebels Reece Hodge and Tom English will partner in the centres while Wallaby flyer Sefa Naivalu and young gun Jack Maddocks will start on the wings. Experienced fullback Dane Haylett-Petty completes the starting back three.
Lock Sam Jeffries has been named as a substitute for his first Super Rugby appearance since the Rebels final round clash of the 2016 Super Rugby season against the Reds at Suncorp Stadium.
Hooker Anaru Rangi, Sam Talakai, Ross Haylett-Petty, Michael Ruru and Billy Meakes are expected to make their Rebels debuts off the bench, alongside local prop Fereti Sa’aga and rising star Semisi Tupou.
The Rebels and Reds will meet in the opening game of the season for the first time.
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Substitutes: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Ross Haylett-Petty, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Semisi Tupou, 23 Billy Meakes
Substitutes: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Filipo Daugunu