Rebels name team for season opener against Reds

The Melbourne Rebels have named their team for the opening game of the 2018 Vodafone Super Rugby season against the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Friday night from 7.40pm (AEDT).

Rebels Head Coach Dave Wessels has named 10 international Test players in his starting line-up, including nine current Wallabies and a Japanese international.

After a back injury sidelined him from pre-season trials, new recruit Will Genia will make his much-anticipated first appearance for the club after he was named at scrumhalf, alongside experienced flyhalf Jack Debreczeni.

Victorian prop Tetera Faulkner will run out in front of family and friends for the first time in a Rebels jersey next to home grown rake Jordan Uelese, who is set to make his run on debut at Super Rugby level.

Captain Adam Coleman and Matt Philip have been paired in an international second row while Wallaby and Japanese representatives Lopeti Timani and Amanaki Mafi, have been included in the back row with Angus Cottrell.

Experienced Rebels Reece Hodge and Tom English will partner in the centres while Wallaby flyer Sefa Naivalu and young gun Jack Maddocks will start on the wings. Experienced fullback Dane Haylett-Petty completes the starting back 3.

Lock Sam Jeffries has been named as a substitute for his first Super Rugby appearance since the Rebels final round clash of the 2016 Super Rugby season against the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium.

Hooker Anaru Rangi, Sam Talakai, Ross Haylett-Petty, Michael Ruru and Billy Meakes are expected to make their Rebels debuts off the bench, alongside local prop Fereti Sa’aga and rising star Semisi Tupou.

The Rebels and Reds will meet in the opening game of the season for the first time in the club’s history.

Join the Rebel Army for the 2018 Super Rugby season with memberships now on sale from as little as $88 for adults, $35 for children and $218 for a family of four for all eight home games.

Entry level general mission tickets are from $6 for children, $15 for adults and $37 for a family.

2018 Vodafone Super Rugby
Melbourne Rebels v Queensland Reds
Friday 23 February 2018
AAMI Park, Melbourne, Victoria
Kick-Off: 7.40pm (AEDT)

Melbourne Rebels team for Friday 23 February

  1. Tetera Faulkner
  2. Jordan Uelese
  3. Jermaine Ainsley
  4. Matt Philip
  5. Adam Coleman (c)
  6. Lopeti Timani
  7. Angus Cottrell
  8. Amanaki Mafi
  9. Will Genia
  10. Jack Debreczeni
  11. Sefa Naivalu
  12. Reece Hodge
  13. Tom English (vc)
  14. Jack Maddocks
  15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Reserves:

  1. Anaru Rangi
  2. Fereti Sa’aga
  3. Sam Talakai
  4. Sam Jeffries
  5. Ross Haylett-Petty
  6. Michael Ruru
  7. Semisi Tupou
  8. Billy Meakes

The Melbourne Rebels will kick-off its 2018 Super Rugby campaign at home against the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park on Friday 23 February from 7.40pm (AEDT).