Super Rugby

Rebels keep starting line-up for Sunwolves

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Rebels Super Rugby head coach Dave Wessels has retained his starting line-up but made two changes to the match-day 23 for Saturday’s match against the the Sunwolves at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo.

Wessels has made two changes to the reserves with former England international lock Geoff Parling and experienced Rebels flanker Colby Fainga’a selected on the bench.

Parling replaces Sam Jeffries in the matchday-23 after Jeffries had to undergo a minor scope to his knee earlier in the week – which is expected to keep him out of action for 3 weeks.

Captain Adam Coleman will make his 50th Super Rugby appearance on Saturday against the Sunwolves after one appearance for the Waratahs (2013), 47 games for the Western Force (2014-2017) and his debut for the Rebels last weekend against the Reds.

The Rebels and Sunwolves will play for the Ganbatte Trophy on Saturday.

The perpetual trophy, introduced between the two sides when the sides first met in 2016, will be on the line for just the second time when the Rebels take on the Sunwolves.

The Rebels will defend the Ganbette Trophy for the first time after they became the inaugural holders courtesy of a 35-9 victory in Round 4, 2016.

“I’ve been really pleased to see how the players have responded at training from our performance on Friday night,” said Rebels Head Coach Wessels.

“We acknowledge that we’ve still got plenty of hard work ahead of us but the attitude and intensity the players have brought to training this week – with a desire to get better – has been great.”

On his expectations for the game against Sunwolves the coach said, “The Sunwolves were impressive last weekend against the Brumbies and we know we’re up for a helluva challenge on Saturday. Our performance has to get better from last weekend. How we travel and how we prepare ourselves will make all the difference.”

Melbourne Rebels

1. Tetera Faulkner , 2. Jordan Uelese , 3. Jermaine Ainsley , 4. Matt Philip , 5. Adam Coleman (c) , 6. Lopeti Timani , 7. Angus Cottrell , 8. Amanaki Mafi , 9. Will Genia , 10. Jack Debreczeni , 11. Sefa Naivalu , 12. Reece Hodge , 13. Tom English (vc) , 14. Jack Maddocks , 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements: 16. Anaru Rangi , 17. Fereti Sa’aga , 18. Sam Talakai , 19. Geoff Parling , 20. Ross Haylett-Petty , 21. Colby Fainga’a , 22. Michael Ruru , 23. Billy Meakes

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