Rebels name three debutants for Sharks
The Melbourne Rebels have made five changes, including three debutants, for Saturday’s game against the Sharks at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban from 7.30pm (Sunday 3.30am AEST).
Injury, suspension and an impending childbirth has forced Rebels head coach Tony McGahan to make changes to the forwards, including uncapped Will Miller at flanker, for the first of two games on South African soil.
Miller will become Rebel number 110 while hooker Siliva Siliva and backrower Jake Schatz will make their first starts for the Rebels after Lopeti Timani (suspended), Dominic Day (injured) and Colby Fainga’a (impending childbirth) are unavailable.
The Rebels have named an unchanged backline with captain Nic Stirzaker and Jack Debreczeni to continue their combination while Mitch Inman and Tom English remain in the centres and Reece Hodge at fullback.
McGahan has named two uncapped players on the reserves bench with Rebels U20s lock Esei Haangana and Hugh Sinclair included alongside James Hanson, Laurie Weeks, Tom Moloney, Mick Snowden, Jackson Garden-Bachop and Ben Volavola.
The Rebels are hunting for the club’s first win on South African soil after the side has lost the 11 previous fixtures in the Republic.
The Sharks, coming off the bye, sit second in the Africa 2 Conference with five wins from seven outings, including an 18-13 win over the Jaguares in Round 7.
Three of the four previous meetings between the Rebels and Sharks has ended with a margin of less than a converted try.
2017 Vodafone Super Rugby – Round 9
Sharks v Melbourne Rebels
Saturday 22 April 2017
Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 7.30pm (SAST) / Sunday 3.30am (AEST)
Broadcast: FOX SPORTS 501 (live)
Live Updates: www.twitter.com/MelbourneRebels
Melbourne Rebels team for Round 9 v Sharks:
1. Fereti Sa’aga
2. Siliva Siliva
3. Tyrel Lomax
4. Steve Cummins
5. Culum Retallick
6. Jake Schatz
7. Will Miller^*
8. Amanaki Mafi
9. Nic Stirzaker (Captain)
10. Jack Debreczeni
11. Marika Koroibete
12. Mitch Inman
13. Tom English
14. Sefa Naivalu
15. Reece Hodge
16. James Hanson
17. Laurie Weeks
18. Tom Moloney
19. Esei Haangana*^
20. Hugh Sinclair*^
21. Mick Snowden
22. Jackson Garden-Bachop
23. Ben Volavola
^Super Rugby debut