LIVE

    Quade Cooper cleared to face Bulls

    2019-05-15 11:13

    Melbourne - Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels has named his team to face the Bulls at AAMI Park on Friday.

    Kick-off is at 11:45 (SA time).

    Wessels has promoted loose forwards Richard Hardwick and Rob Leota to the starting XV to battle the men from Pretoria.

    Hardwick, who came off the bench in last week's big win over the Reds, has been elevated to the No 7 jersey, while Leota will step up into the No 8 jersey.

    Star recruit Matt To'omua could potentially make his long-awaited Rebels debut, as he starts as a replacement after being released a week early by English club Leicester.

    It could be To'omua's first Super Rugby game since he played 88 games for the Brumbies between 2008-2016.

    He will be joined by Sam Jeffries who will return to the side to bolster the forward stocks, finishing off a 5-3 split on the bench.

    Luke Jones and Isi Naisarani were the two players left out of the side, after both suffered a fractured eye socket and a foot injury respectively in last Friday’s victory over the Reds.

    In better news for the team, Quade Cooper has been cleared to play following a nasty incident where No 10 was concussed by a knee to the head form Reds skipper Samu Kerevi.

    Wessels told the Rebels' official website that Cooper was raring to go against the Bulls after being cleared by medical professionals.

    "He's fine, he pulled up straight away after the game and was feeling fine, he followed the concussion pathway and passed all of those markers, so he's feeling good," Wessels said.

    With star forwards Jones and Naisarani ruled out, Wessels has backed forwards Leota and Hardwick to fill the void against a strong Bulls forward pack.

    "We're lucky we've got some depth in the back five of the scrum," Wessels said.

    "Rob Leota, obviously everyone knows how well he’s been playing, so it's great to have him in the mix."

    "We're fortunate to have Dickie (Richard Hardwick) who's a Wallaby, we've missed having a specialist flanker who plays to the ball, so that’s a part of our game that Dickie will really help with."

    Teams:

    Rebels

    15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Rob Leota, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner

    Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Pone Fa’amausili, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Campbell Magnay, 23 Matt To’omua

    Bulls

    15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka

    Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Breaking News

    Fixtures

    Saturday, 25 May 2019
    • Sunwolves v Rebels, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 07:15
    • Crusaders v Blues, AMI Stadium 09:35
    • Waratahs v Jaguares, Allianz Stadium 11:45
    • Stormers v Highlanders, Cape Town 15:05
    • Sharks v Lions, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
    Friday, 31 May 2019
    • Blues v Bulls, Eden Park 09:35
    • Rebels v Waratahs, AAMI Park 11:45
    Saturday, 01 June 2019
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 07:15
    • Chiefs v Crusaders, ANZ National Stadium 09:35
    • Reds v Jaguares, Suncorp Stadium 11:45
    • Sharks v Hurricanes, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 15:05
    • Lions v Stormers, Emirates Airline Park 17:15

    Results

    24 May 2019
    18 May 2019
    17 May 2019
    12 May 2019
    11 May 2019
    10 May 2019
    04 May 2019
    03 May 2019
    27 April 2019
    26 April 2019
    20 April 2019
    19 April 2019
    13 April 2019
    12 April 2019
    06 April 2019
    05 April 2019
    30 March 2019
    29 March 2019
    24 March 2019
    23 March 2019
    22 March 2019
    16 March 2019
    15 March 2019
    09 March 2019
    08 March 2019
    02 March 2019
    01 March 2019
    23 February 2019
    22 February 2019
    16 February 2019
    15 February 2019

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts
    • Jaguares (Q)
    • Bulls (wc)
    • Lions (wc)
    • Sharks (wc)
    • Stormers

    Opinion Poll

    Which of the 4 South African team will finish with the fewest Super Rugby SA Conference points?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.