Fainga'a returns for Cheetahs clash
Cape Town - The return of Colby Fainga’a from injury
headlines five new inclusions in the Rebels match-day squad for Friday’s
Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs at AAMI Park, Melbourne.
Fainga’a will make his Super Rugby return from the reserves
bench after an elbow injury had sidelined the flanker since the Rebels’ opening
round victory over the Western Force in Perth eight weeks ago.
Head coach Tony McGahan has made four changes to the run-on
side that lost to the Hurricanes last weekend with Toby Smith, returning from a
concussion suffered against the Waratahs, and Jonah Placid named at fullback
for the first time since the Highlanders in Round 5.
Reece Hodge will make his first start at outside centre
after all four of his Super Rugby appearances have come at fullback while Sefa
Nailavu, who got through his first full game since returning from a broken leg
last year, and Cam Crawford swap wings.
Centre Sione Tuipulotu, last week named in the Australian Under-20’s
squad, and Japanese international Kotaro Matsushima have been recalled to the
team with the pair to start on the reserve bench against the Cheetahs.
Tuipulotu has been named in the team for the first time since
he made his Super Rugby debut against the Reds in Round Three while
Matsushima’s only appearance for the Rebels came in Round Two against the
“With Dom Shipperley and Mitch Inman unavailable for
selection due to injury, we’ve been forced to make a few changes this weekend
against the Cheetahs, which isn’t great for continuity, but I’m looking forward
to the young backs playing well,” McGahan said.
“Our depth has been tested a few times already this year
with various injuries but those players coming in have always stepped up and
taken the challenge head on so I’m expecting nothing less again this weekend.”
15. Jonah Placid, 14. Cam Crawford, 13. Reece Hodge, 12.
Tamati Ellison, 11. Sefanaia Naivalu, 10. Jack Debreczeni, 9. Nick Stirzaker
(captain), 8. Adam Thomson, 7. Sean McMahon, 6. Jordy Reid, 5. Lopeti Timani,
4. Luke Jones, 3. Laurie Weeks, 2. James Hanson, 1. Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16. Pat Leafa, 17. Cruze Ah-Nau, 18. Jamie
Hagan, 19. Sam Jeffries, 20. Colby Faingaa, 21. Ben Meehan, 22. Daniel Hawkins,
23. Kotaro Matsushima
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Segeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12
Francois Venter (captain), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8
Paul Schoeman, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Hilton Lobberts, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de
Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Luan de
Bruin, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Oupa Mohoje, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred