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Reid returns as Rebels change one for Reds

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Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has named a team with one change for their Super Rugby match this Saturday against the Reds at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Flanker Jordy Reid has been recalled to the Rebels run-on team for the side’s first home game of the season after coming off the bench to spark a second-half revival in the 45-25 loss to the Bulls last weekend.

“A local derby is always exciting and there’s certainly no shortage of motivation for either the Rebels or Reds coming into this game,” McGahan said.

“After two big weeks on the road, it’s great to be back playing at AAMI Park tonight in front of the Rebels faithful, family and friends for the first time this season.”

The Rebels four-try second half came after Reid’s introduction, which included an instrumental run from the 24-year-old own the right touchline to set up scrumhalf Ben Meehan’s second try.

Adam Thomson, one of four former Reds in the Rebels’ 23-player squad, returns to the number eight jersey while Lopeti Timani has been named in the second row.

Sean McMahan will again lead the Rebels for a third consecutive week with captain Nic Stirzaker unavailable for selection as he continues his recovery from an off-season shoulder reconstruction.

The quad injury to Reece Hodge, sidelined for four-five weeks, has opened the door for Japanese international Kotaro Matsushima on the reserves bench, alongside Pat Leafa, Cruze Ah-Nau, Jamie Hagan, Sam Jeffries, Steve Cummins, Mick Snowden and Dan Hawkins.

Matsushima, who made his Super Rugby debut after getting a late call-up following the injury to Hodge at training on the eve of second round clash against the Bulls in Pretoria, will come up against compatriot Ayumu Goromaru.

“Injuries have played an unfortunately role early this season but we’ve got great depth in our squad and have complete confidence in our side’s ability to step up and take the opportunity,” McGahan said.

After starting their season on the road with an opening round victory over the Western Force in Perth and a second round 20-point loss to the Bulls last weekend, the Rebels return home for the first time this season.

Melbourne Rebels

1. Toby Smith , 2. James Hanson , 3. Laurie Weeks , 4. Luke Jones , 5. Lopeti Timani , 6. Jordy Reid , 7. Sean McMahon (captain) , 8. Adam Thomson , 9. Ben Meehan , 10. Jack Debreczeni , 11. Tom English , 12. Mitch Inman , 13. Tamati Ellison , 14. Dom Shipperley , 15. Jonah Placid

Replacements : 6. Pat Leafa , 17. Cruze Ah Nau , 18. Jamie Hagan , 19. Sam Jeffries , 20. Steve Cummins , 21. Mick Snowden , 22. Dan Hawkins , 23. Kotaro Matsushima

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