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Rebels make five changes for Sharks match

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Melbourne Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have named a team with five changes including three debutants for this Saturday’s match against the Sharks at Kings park in Durban.

The Rebels earned their first victory of the Super Rugby season last weekend by beating the Brumbies but an 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 replacements 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 as the side have 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.

Melbourne Rebels

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

Replacements :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
*Rebels debut

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