Injured Rebels to miss Stormers clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wallabies back Jack Maddocks is among the injured Melbourne Rebels players to be ruled out of their Super Rugby home clash with the Stormers.
It is a setback for the Rebels, who are looking to extend their lead at the top of the Australian conference.
Maddocks is among four changes to their starting XV for the AAMI Park match as they look to bank their first win this season over a South African opponent, which Rebels coach Dave Wessels described as a “mini milestone”.
The Melbourne wing is out with a minor knee injury, with his place taken by Australian Under-20 flyer Semisi Tupou.
“Jack’s got tendonitis in his patella but he will be right to go next week,” Wessels said.
“He’s also played seven games in a row and a lot of minutes so we thought it was appropriate for him to have a rest.
“The decision is made a lot easier when a guy like Semisi trains as well as he does and played well in the minutes he had against the Sunwolves.”
Lock Matt Philip has a bruised heel and hooker Anaru Rangi has an ankle issue, while prop Sam Talakai has been rotated into the starting side in place of Jermaine Ainsley.
Wessels said the injured trio could have played if pushed, but thought it was a chance to show faith in the wider squad.
Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Semisi Tupou, 134 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Angus Cottrell (captain), 6 Luke Jones, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Esei Ha’angana, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Campbell Magnay.
Date: Friday, April 12
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.45 (11.45 SA time; 09.45 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
TMO: James Leckie (Australia)