Super Rugby

Meakes and Haylett-Petty start for Rebels against Reds

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Melbourne Rebels Super rugby head coach Dave Wessels has named lock Ross Haylett-Petty and centre Billy Meakes in his starting team to play the Reds at AAMI Park on Friday.

While Haylett-Petty and Meakes return the team has lost Club games record holder Tom English to injury.

Haylett-Petty has been promoted into the number four jersey, while Meakes will return to centre, after the inside back scored one try in 21 minutes of game time after coming off the bench against the Hurricanes.

The Melburnians’ backline has suffered a blow following the loss of Club stalwart Tom English, who has succumbed to a calf complaint.

Richard Hardwick has also been included after successfully overcoming a foot injury sustained against the Waratahs to regain a spot on the bench. After starting on the field last week, Victorian forward Rob Leota will begin the match in the reserves, as the Rebels look to combat a strong Queensland forward pack with a 6-2 split on the bench.

Melbourne Head Coach Dave Wessels says while English was due to be rested after playing 10 consecutive games, the centre’s injury only reinforced the need for the star back to be sidelined.

“Tom English has played every game and he deserved a break, while I though Billy did very well when he came on in the Hurricanes game,” Wessels said.

“Subsequent to team selection, Tom has got a bit of a calf niggle, it’s nothing more than that and he’ll be available next week.”

With the Rebels looking to bounce back from three consecutive losses, Wessels believes is side can rebound after an inconsistent performance against the Hurricanes.

And the Head Coach believes the perfect platform to do so will be against the Reds on Friday night, as the Rebels start a run of four matches in their final six games of 2019. “I feel like we’re a different team to where we were 10 days ago,” Wessels said.

“We’ve got a couple of games at home now, so it’s important we find our rhythm and our flow and really enjoy rugby again as well.”

Rebels

1. Tetera Faulkner,2. Anaru Rangi,3. Jermaine Ainsley,4. Ross Haylett-Petty,5. Matt Philip,6. Luke Jones,7. Angus Cottrell,8. Isi Naisarani,9. Will Genia,10. Quade Cooper,11. Marika Koroibete,12. Billy Meakes,13. Reece Hodge,14. Jack Maddocks,15. Dane Haylett-Petty (c)

Replacements :16. Hugh Roach,17. Matt Gibbon,18. Sam Talakai,19. Pone Fa’amausili,20. Rob Leota,21. Richard Hardwick,22. Michael Ruru,23. Campbell Magnay

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