Melbourne Rebels coach Damien Hill has named his team to take on the Reds in Melbourne on Friday evening, handing retiring skipper Stirling Mortlock a start, despite an injury concern leaving a cloud of doubt over his final match on Australian soil.
Mortlock strained his calf earlier this week but partook in a light training session at AAMI Park today, with the Rebels opting to give the 35-year-old up until the last possible seconds to prove his fitness, in a bid to ensure that Mortlock has the opportunity to play one final game at home.
Friday's clash will also be a home farewell to Al Campbell and Julian Huxley who will retire and move abroad respectively. Both players have been named on the bench.
Meanwhile, Wallabies back James O'Connor returns to action for the Rebels, having recovered from a lacerated liver. Kurtley Beale subsequently shifts to fullback.
15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Mark Gerrard, 13. Mitch Inman, 12. Stirling Mortlock (c), 11. Cooper Vuna, 10. James O'Connor, 9. Nick Phipps, 8. Gareth Delve, 7. Hugh Perrett, 6. Tom Chamberlain, 5. Hugh Pyle, 4. Cadeyrne Neville, 3. Jono Owen, 2. Adam Freier, 1. Nic Henderson.
Reserves: 16. Ged Robinson, 17. Rodney Blake, 18. Al Campbell, 19. Tim Davidson, 20. Nic Stirzaker, 21. Lachlan Mitchell, 22. Julian Huxley.