Melbourne - Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has named an unchanged
starting line-up for Friday's derby with the Waratahs in Melbourne.
McGahan has named the same run-on side for the first time in
27 games (Rd 10, 2015) and an extended bench, with one player to be omitted.
Four changes have been made to the nine-player bench with
the inclusion of Wallaby Lopeti Timani and Wales international Dominic Day,
along with the return of centre Mitch Inman and prop Tom Moloney.
“The starting line-up showed character and fight against the
Chiefs last week so they’re all deserving of the opportunity to get another
crack from kick-off,” said McGahan.
“It’s great that we can include some experience for Friday
night’s game against the Waratahs with Lopeti and Dom to provide some much-needed
depth and quality from the bench when called upon.”
The Rebels welcome back Timani after a knee injury sidelined
the second-row for the club’s fourth round game against the Chiefs last Friday
night while Day, capped three times for Wales, is expected to make his Super
The lock has 92 appearances for Welsh professional club
Scarlets (PRO12) before he joined Bath in 2012 where he played 110 games in the
England Premiership followed by a move to Japan with Toyota Verblitz (Top
League) in 2016.
Inman is set to return from injury for his second games of
the season while Moloney has been recalled after appearing off the bench in the
opening two games of the year against the Blues and Hurricanes.
The Melbourne Rebels will defend the Weary Dunlop Shield on
Friday night after they reclaimed the trophy courtesy of a history 21-17 maiden
victory over the Waratahs in Sydney when the two sides last met in 2016.
Friday’s game will be the Rebels 50th Super Rugby home game
at AAMI Park, six years, one month and seven days since the club kicked off
their inaugural season against the Waratahs on 18 February 2011.
Hooker James Hanson will record his 100th Super Rugby
appearance since his debut in 2010 against the Crusaders.
played 82 games for the Reds, including the 2011 Super Rugby
championship, before he joined the Rebels in 2016.
15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge,
11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8
Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Steve Cummins, 4 Culum
Retallick, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Fereti Sa’aga
Substitutes(one to be omitted):16 Pat Leafa, 17 Tom
Moloney, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Jake
Schatz, 22 Ben Meehan, 23 Mitch Inman, 24 Ben Volavola
Israel Folau, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11
Andrew Kellaway, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jed Holloway, 7
Michael Hooper, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope
Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Damien
Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 David McDuling, 20
Michael Wells, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Cam Clark, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro