Wholesale changes for Rebels

Fri, 19 May 2017 08:27
Large lopeti timani rebels 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Melbourne Rebels have made nine changes for Sunday's game against the Waratahs at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

Lopeti Timani returns from his four-game suspension and Sean McMahon will make his first start of the season after the star returned to action off the bench last weekend against the Reds.

The Wallabies pair will partner Japanese international Amanaki Mafi in the Rebels bac krow while prop Tyrel Lomax and lock Culum Retallick have been recalled to the starting line-up after Dominic Day failed to overcome an injury.

"We're all excited to get Sean [McMahon] and Lopeti [Timani] back into the starting line-up and we're looking forward to seeing them play with Amanaki [Mafi] in a dynamic back row for us," McGahan said.

"It's been a lot time coming to have the three of them fit and available for selection together but it's a brand new combination so we're conscious combinations may be lacking but certainly not the physicality."

Injuries to Sefa Naivalu and Tom English has forced a reshuffle of the backline with Marika Koroibete the only back to retain his position.

Jackson Garden-Bachop will partner Ben Meehan in the halves, stand-in captain Reece Hodge and Mitch Inman will combine in the centres, Jack Maddocks named on the wing and Ben Volavola will start at fullback.

It will be Maddock's first start since his Super Rugby debut in Round One against the Blues after a shoulder injury sidelined the 20-year-old for 12 weeks.

McGahan has included 18-year-old lock Esei Haangana, who became the Rebels youngest ever debutant when he came off the bench against the Lions, has been included on the reserves bench.

Colby Fainga'a has overcome a quad injury while Sione Tuipulotu has returned from Australian Uner-20s camp to provide injury cover and Jonah Placid is set to make his first appearance since Round One off the bench.

It will be the second meeting between the two sides this season after the Waratahs scored four unanswered tries to come from behind to beat the Rebels on full-time and reclaim the Weary Dunlop Shield with a 32-25 win at AAMI Park.

The Rebels return to Allianz Stadium for the first time since their history victory over the Waratahs in Sydney last season.

Rebels: 15 Ben Volavola, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Reece Hodge (captain), 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Sean McMahon, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Steve Cummins, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Laurie Weeks, 19 Esei Haangana, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Jonah Placid

Date: Sunday, May 21
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 16:05 (06:05 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper, Amy Perrett
TMO: George Ayoub

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4