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Genia and Cooper start for Rebels against Brumbies

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Melbourne Super rugby team the Rebels have named their 23-man match day team to play the Brumbies this Friday at GIO Stadium and included the super rugby title winning duo of Will Genia and Quade Cooper.

It will be the first opportunity for Rebels fans to get to see halves duo Will Genia and Quade Cooper link up together for the first time in Melbourne colours, with both players named to start at nine and 10 respectively.

Cooper leads a list of five new faces for the Rebels, with former Brumbies players Isi Naisarani and Robbie Abel named to face their old side, with Naisarani to start at number eight, while Abel will begin on the bench as the reserve hooker.

Rounding out the list of potential debutants is Shute Shield player Matt Gibbon and former Reds and Waratahs player Brad Wilkin, with both forwards earning a spot in the reserves.

After three years abroad at French Club Bordeaux, returning Foundation Rebel Luke Jones, who played 72 games for the Club between 2011-2016, will slot straight back into the starting 15, after being named at left lock.

Promising forward Richard Hardwick will have the tough task of going head to head with David Pocock, after the Wallabies flanker was named to start despite concerns a strained calf could keep the Brumbies vice-captain out of the season opener.

Lock Adam Coleman was unable to overcome an injury sustained from the recent 10-day Wallabies Camp, while Reece Hodge has been given further time to come back from his ankle injury.

Rebels Head Coach Dave Wessels says he is excited by the arrival of Round 1, with the squad raring to go after putting in the hard work required over the preseason.

“It’s obviously exciting to get underway but going up to Canberra, it’s not an easy challenge,” Wessels said.

“We’ve got to turn up. We’ve done a great job of keeping everything simple and how we compete every day and get a little bit better, all of the players have really bought into that.”

While it may be the start of the new season, the Rebels and Brumbies have already acquainted themselves in 2019 when the two sides played a trial match in Canberra in January, with the ACT side coming out 52-38 winners.

However, Wessels has not read into the result too much for Friday’s game, saying the two sides will look vastly different when they face off at GIO Stadium.

“A couple of our players didn’t play in it and a couple of their players didn’t play in it too,” he said.

“Everyone holds everything back during the trials, so you don’t get much of a read, but we are ready for the challenge.”

Melbourne Rebels

1. Tetera Faulkner,2. Anaru Rangi,3. Jermaine Ainsley,4. Luke Jones,5. Matt Philip,6. Angus Cottrell,7. Richard Hardwick,8. Isi Naisarani,9. Will Genia,10. Quade Cooper,11. Marika Koroibete,12. Billy Meakes,13. Tom English,14. Jack Maddocks,15. Dane Haylett-Petty (Captain)

Replacements : 16. Robbie Abel ,17. Matt Gibbon,18. Sam Talakai,19. Esei Ha’angana,20. Brad Wilkin,21. Rob Leota,22. Michael Ruru,23. Semisi Tupou

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  1. Pingback: Brumbies vs Melbourne Rebels live Super Rugby score update - Super Rugby | Super 15 Rugby and Rugby Championship News,Results and Fixtures from Super XV Rugby

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