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James O'Connor takes over Rebels captaincy

James O'Connor will be the third Rebels captain in their history

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Article Published: Tuesday 26 February 2013|

James O'Connor has been named to captain the Rebels in their Super Rugby match against the Waratahs as regular captain Gareth Delve has been sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Delve suffered a knock on his shoulder in last week's 30-13 loss to the Brumbies and has not recovered in time to play this weekend.

O'Connor's appointment as Rebels captain makes him the third player in the franchise's history to captain the team.

"Nothing is structurally wrong with Gareth's shoulder. He took a beating last week and simply has not recovered in time for this weeks match," said Coach, Damien Hill.

Manly Marlin Jordy Reid will come onto the bench for his first Super Rugby match, with Wallaby Spring tourists Cadeyrn Neville to start in the second row, and Luke Jones moving to the blindside flank with Scott Higginbotham packing down in the familiar position of number 8.

Damien Hill was disappointed for Delve, although happy that the Club has the talent to fill the void left by the Welsh International.

"We have spoken about the Club's depth this year compared to others, and for the Rebels to be able to replace Delve with Higginbotham, while bringing in Wallaby tourists to the starting team is a demonstration of that," said Hill.

Hill is also showing his faith in the future of the Club, announcing 22 year old O'Connor as Captain in Delve's absence.

"James has really matured over the past six months as a footballer, and was humbled by the opportunity when I presented the captaincy role to him."

Although the Rebels had some disappointing news on Delve, the squad was lifted with Kurtley Beale getting through training and showing no signs of his shoulder injury hampering him.

The Wallabies flyhalf will start against his former club in an unchanged run on backline, with only one change to the bench seeing uncapped utility back Angus Roberts replacing Alex Rokobaro.

Kimami Sitauti , Jason Woodward and Cooper Vuna were not considered due to injury.


15. James O'Connor , 14. Lachlan Mitchell , 13. Mitch Inman , 12. Rory Sidey , 11. Richard Kingi , 10. Kurtley Beale , 9. Nick Phipps , 8. Scott Higginbotham , 7. Scott Fuglistaller , 6. Luke Jones , 5. Cadeyrn Neville , 4. Hugh Pyle , 3. Laurie Weeks , 2. Ged Robinson (vc) , 1. Nic Henderson

16. Shota Horie , 17. Paul Alo-Emile , 18. Jordy Reid , 19. Jarrod Saffy , 20. Nic Stirzaker , 21. Angus Roberts , 22. Tom English

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