Rebels recall Woodward & Stirzaker

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:18
Large tony mcgahan

Rebels coach Tony McGahan made six changes to the starting line-up, ahead of their Super Rugby encounter with the Brumbies.

Rebels coach Tony McGahan made six changes to the starting line-up, ahead of their Super Rugby encounter with the Brumbies.

The Round Seven clash will see a new look front row - with Max Lahiff replacing Toby Smith as loosehead prop, with Smith ruled out for a week with concussion.

Laurie Weeks, on the other hand, returns from a head knock as the starting tighthead, with Pat Leafa retaining his starting spot at hooker.

McGahan, while disappointed to see Smith ruled out, was excited to see what Lahiff could deliver in his first start on home soil.

"Unfortunately Toby's head knock on the weekend was pretty bad, and he didn't return to the game after going off," McGahan said.

"He's still recovering and we're following the concussion protocols, but hopefully he will be fine for next week.

"Max had a really good pre-season and is adjusting to the speed of Super Rugby. We're looking for him to provide a big contribution early on against a good Brumbies front row."

The second row remains unchanged, while a straight swap sees Colby Fainga'a injected among the loose forwards into the starting line-up against his former franchise with Sean McMahon dropping to the reserves.

"Colby has been training very well all pre-season, and he is really keen to show his wares," McGahan said.

"He has had a strong contribution this week into what we are hoping to achieve on Friday.

"We didn't select him just because we're playing against his old side; we have a plan on where we will use players during the course of a hectic eight week block. Sean has played really well, but this week Colby gets the opportunity."

Nic Stirzaker, who this week committed to the franchise until the end of the 2015 season, has returned from an ankle injury and replaces Ben Meehan in the squad, with Luke Burgess relegated to the reserves.

"Nic has worked hard, and it's unfortunate that we have been denied his presence thus far. He has trained strongly for two weeks, had some good game time on the weekend in the Dewar Shield and now he comes in to help us with our mindset and our general play in attack.

"Luke has been at the forefront of our halves combo for all of our games this year, including the trial matches, and he has invested a lot physically and emotionally. We're looking for a new voice and we are really conscious of how we want to finish the game this week; certainly Luke brings great experience to the back end of the match."

Jason Woodward has overcome a bruised knee to return after missing one week and is named to start as fullback, while Tom Kingston will start after a knee injury bought a premature end to Foundation Rebel Lachlan Mitchell's season.

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Cruze Ah-Nau, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Male Sa'u, 23 Angus Roberts.

Date: Friday, March 28
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.40 (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 8 4 0 4 21
Reds 9 2 1 6 12
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 9 6 0 3 31
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 29
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4