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    Reece Hodge at 10 for Rebels

    2018-06-27 09:24

    Cape Town - The Rebels have made two changes to the starting XV that beat the Blues at the beginning of June, as they prepare to restart their season with a top-of-the-Conference clash against the Waratahs at AAMI Park on Friday. 

    Ben Daley makes his first start for the season in the front-row and is joined by Sam Talakai, while Geoff Parling steps into the second-row to cover for injured Rebels captain, Adam Coleman (adductor). 

    Michael Ruru retains the scrumhalf jersey with Will Genia (arm) on the sidelines. 

    On the bench, hooker Nathan Charles returns to the playing 23 following Jordan Uelese’s season-ending knee injury.

    Jack Debreczeni also makes his first Super Rugby appearance since the win over the Brumbies in Canberra. The team includes 11 Test players. 

    A win would see the Melbourne Rebels - currently one point adrift of the Waratahs - reclaim top spot on the Australian conference with just two games left to play. 

    In Coleman’s absence, centre Tom English will captain the side on Friday. 

    Melbourne Rebels head coach Dave Wessels said: “We have some really experienced players in our line-up who can handle the big moments in big games. 

    “We’re gonna go out there and give it a real crack in-front of everyone at the Stockade (AAMI Park) - it’s exciting…it’s going to be a bomb-cracker of a contest. 

    “Above everything, we just want to put in another performance where the people of Melbourne can be proud of us.”

    Teams:

    Rebels

    15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English (captain), 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Reece Hodge, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Ben Daley


    Substitutes: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Sefa Naivalu


    Waratahs

    15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley (captain), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Will Miller, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson


    Substitutes: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Alex Newsome

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    Friday, 29 June 2018
    • Blues v Reds, Eden Park 09:35
    • Rebels v Waratahs, AAMI Park 11:45
    Saturday, 30 June 2018
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, ANZ National Stadium 09:35
    • Brumbies v Hurricanes, GIO Stadium 11:45
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    • Reds v Rebels, Suncorp Stadium 11:45

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