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
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 June 2017
Samoa v Wales 06h30 Apia
South Africa A v French Barbarians 18h00 Orlando Stadium
Sat, 24 June 2017
Fiji v Scotland 02h30 Suva
Japan v Ireland 04h40 Tokyo
Australia v Italy 05h00 Suncorp Stadium
New Zealand v B&I Lions 07h35 Eden Park
South Africa v France 15h00 Johannesburg
Canada v United States 19h00 Calgary
Argentina v Georgia 19h15 Estadio Ciudad De La Plata
Tue, 27 June 2017
Hurricanes v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 30
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19