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Rebels make two changes for Waratahs match

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Melbourne’s Rebels have named a Super rugby team with two changes to the starting side that beat the Blues for this weekend’s match against the NSW Waratahs at AAMI Park on Friday.

The match will be a top-of-the-Conference clash in Australia that could go a long way to deciding who finishes as Australian Conference winners.

Ben Daley makes his first start for the season in the front row and is joined by Sam Talakai, while Geoff Parling steps into the second row to cover for injured Rebels captain, Adam Coleman (adductor).

Michael Ruru retains the halfback jersey with Will Genia on the sidelines due to an arm injury.

On the bench, hooker Nathan Charles returns to the playing 23 following Jordan Uelese’s season-ending knee injury.

Jack Debreczeni also makes his first Super Rugby appearance since the win over the ACT Brumbies in Canberra. The team includes 11 Test players.

A win would see the Melbourne Rebels – currently one point adrift of the Waratahs – reclaim top spot on the Australian conference with just two games left to play.

In Coleman’s absence, centre Tom English will captain the side on Friday night.

Melbourne Rebels Head Coach, Dave Wessels said: “We have some really experienced players in our line-up who can handle the big moments in big games.

“We’re gonna go out there and give it a real crack in-front of everyone at the Stockade (AAMI Park) – it’s exciting…it’s going to be a bomb-cracker of a contest.

“Above everything, we just want to put in another performance where the people of Melbourne can be proud of us.”

Melbourne Rebels

1. Ben Daley, 2. Anaru Rangi, 3. Sam Talakai, 4. Matt Philip, 5. Geoff Parling (v/c), 6. Angus Cottrell, 7. Colby Fainga’a, 8. Amanaki Mafi, 9. Michael Ruru, 10. Reece Hodge, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Billy Meakes, 13. Tom English (capt.), 14. Jack Maddocks, 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Nathan Charles, 17. Fereti Sa’aga, 18. Jermaine Ainsley, 19. Ross Haylett-Petty, 20. Lopeti Timani, 21. Harrison Goddard, 22. Jack Debreczeni, 23. Sefa Naivalu

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