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    Genia, Cooper start in experienced Rebels line-up

    2019-02-13 09:27

    Cape Town - The Melbourne Rebels have named an experienced side to face the Brumbies in their Super Rugby opener in Canberra on Friday.

    Kick-off is at 10:45 SA time.

    It will be the first opportunity for fans to get to see duo Will Genia and Quade Cooper link up together in Melbourne colours, with the pair named to start at No 9 and 10, respectively.

    Cooper leads a list of five new faces for the Rebels, with former Brumbies players Isi Naisarani and Robbie Abel named to face their old side, with Naisarani to start at No 8, while Abel will begin on the bench as the reserve hooker.

    Rounding out the list of potential debutants is Shute Shield player Matt Gibbon and former Reds and Waratahs player Brad Wilkin, with both forwards earning a spot in the reserves.

    After three years abroad at French Club Bordeaux, returning Rebel Luke Jones, who played 72 games for the team between 2011-2016, will slot straight back into the starting XV, after being named at lock.

    Promising forward Richard Hardwick will have the tough task of going head to head with David Pocock, after the Wallabies flank was named to start despite concerns a strained calf could keep the Brumbies vice-captain out of the season opener.

    Lock Adam Coleman was unable to overcome an injury sustained from the recent 10-day Wallabies camp, while Reece Hodge has been given further time to come back from his ankle injury.

    Teams:

    Brumbies

    15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper

    Substitutes: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Scott Sio, 18  Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Peter Samu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Andy Muirhead

    Rebels

    15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetra Faulkner

    Substitutes: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Esi Ha’angana, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Semisi Tupou

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    Fixtures

    Friday, 22 February 2019
    • Highlanders v Reds, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
    Saturday, 23 February 2019
    • Sunwolves v Waratahs, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Hurricanes, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Brumbies v Chiefs, GIO Stadium 10:45
    • Sharks v Blues, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 15:05
    • Stormers v Lions, Cape Town 17:15
    • Jaguares v Bulls, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40
    Friday, 01 March 2019
    • Hurricanes v Brumbies, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Highlanders, AAMI Park 10:45

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