Former Sharks lock on Rebels bench
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels has made several changes to his side that will take on Brumbies on Friday.
The Rebels coach Wessels has made a few changes to his forward pack that suffered the shock 27-36 defeat to the Sunwolves.
Wessels has replaced two-thirds of his front row, with a fresh Matt Gibbon replacing Fereti Sa’aga at no.1 and Ruan Smith coming in for Jermaine Ainsley at tighthead.
Experienced former Brumbies and Waratahs backrower Michael Wells takes the no.7 from Rob Leota.
Wallaby Luke Jones is out with back soreness but that means a debut for 120kg South African recruit and Gideon Koegelenberg on a 6-2 bench.
The former Sharks lock Koegelenberg joined the Rebels this season after a two-year stint at the South African side.
The 25-year-old also played for Golden Lions and Italian Pro14 team Zebre.
The backline is unchanged but former Force scrumhalf Ryan Louwrens takes the reserve halfback slot and Campbell Magnay returns from injury in the bench slot of Andrew Deegan.
Louwrense, another South African, also joined the Rebels this season.
— Melbourne Rebels (@MelbourneRebels) February 5, 2020
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Andrew Kellaway, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Wells, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Matt Gibbon
Replacements: 16 Steve Misa, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Gideon Koelenberg, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Ryan Louwrens, 23 Campbell Magnay
Date: Friday, February 7
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.15 (09.15 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy, Jordan Way
TMO: Ian Smith