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    Rebels unchanged for Waratahs

    2017-03-22 10:37

    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 Rugby debut.

    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.

    The 28-year-old played 82 games for the Reds, including the 2011 Super Rugby championship, before he joined the Rebels in 2016.

    Teams

    Rebels

    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

    Waratahs

    15 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

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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