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Rebels make one change for Highlanders


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Melbourne Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have named a starting team with one change for this Friday’s match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Rebels Super Rugby head coach Tony McGahan has recalled Mitch Inman to the starting line-up after a shoulder injury to Sefa Naivalu against the Waratahs has sidelined the winger.

Inman, who returned from injury last week via the reserves bench, has been named at outside centre which sees Tom English shifted to the wing to fill the vacancy left by Naivalu.

For a third consecutive game the Rebels have named an unchanged forward pack after hooker James Hanson and lock Culum Retallick were cleared after overcoming head knocks.

McGahan has named a 10-player extended bench with two to be omitted before kick-off.

Wallaby Lopeti Timani, who was a late withdrawal from last Friday’s game against the Waratahs with calf soreness, has been named on the extended bench.

Dominic Day has been included after overcoming a concussion which limited the Welsh international to just a minute in his Super Rugby debut last week.

Hooker Siliva Siliva and scrumhalf Mick Snowden could be set for their first appearances of the season after being named on the reserves bench, along with uncapped Rebels U20s captain Esei Haangana.

The Rebels travel to New Zealand for the final time this season and to Dunedin for just the second time in the club’s history.

The Highlanders will be the Rebels fourth New Zealand opponent in the first six rounds of the 2017 Vodafone Super Rugby season after playing the Blues (Round 1), Hurricanes (Round 2) and Chiefs (Round 4).

“I’ve been pleased with the progress we have made over the last two weeks however our contribution at the backend of these games has resulted in losses so we need to make sure that we apply those lessons and playout the full 80 minutes – starting this weekend,” McGahan said.

Melbourne Rebels

1. Fereti Sa’aga , 2. James Hanson , 3. Laurie Weeks , 4. Culum Retallick , 5. Steve Cummins , 6. Jordy Reid , 7. Colby Fainga’a , 8. Amanaki Mafi , 9. Nic Stirzaker (Captain) , 10. Jackson Garden-Bachop , 11. Marika Koroibete , 12. Reece Hodge , 13. Mitch Inman , 14. Tom English , 15. Jack Debreczeni

Extended Replacements (two to be omitted) : Siliva Siliva , Tom Moloney , Tyrel Lomax , Dominic Day , Lopeti Timani , Jake Schatz , Esei Haangana^* , Mick Snowden , Sione Tuipulotu , Ben Volavola

^Super Rugby debut ,
*Rebels debut ,

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