Melbourne Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has named a 26-man squad for their Super Rugby warm up match against the Hurricanes on Thursday.
A strong 26-player Rebels squad, including the return of Wallaby squad member Reece Hodge, has been named for the warm-up fixture at Harlequins Oval in Ashwood.
The exhibition match, with proceeds going to the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation, will provide both sides a timely hit out before the return of the Super Rugby season following a four-week international break.
“This trial against the Hurricanes will provide our squad with a timely hit out against quality opposition to prepare ourselves for the return of Super Rugby,” McGahan said.
“There’s certainly plenty to play for on Thursday night with players, both fringe and experienced, vying for positions with three games left this season.”
The Rebels will be missing Sean McMahon and Toby Smith, who remain on Wallabies duty, while Kotaro Matsushima is with the Japanese national team for their two-Test series against Scotland.
The squad includes three players without Rebels caps with Rebels U20’s Harley Fox, Melbourne Rising prop FeretiSa’aga and former NSW Waratahs winger Alofa Alofa, who has temporarily joined the club to provide support in the backs.
The Rebels, sitting seven points behind the Australian Conference leading Brumbies and Waratahs, return to Super Rugby against the Stormers on Saturday 2 July at AAMI Park.
The Hurricanes, third in New Zealand behind leaders the Crusaders by five points, return to Melbourne for the second time this season after Wellington-based outfit claimed victory in Round 8.
Along with the opportunity to meet the players after the game, every child will receive a free team poster, competitions will be held to win tickets to the Rebels game against the Stormersand fans can enjoy the game from the pop-up Rebels Try Line Bar
Melbourne Rebels v Hurricanes
Thursday 23 June 2016
Kick-off: 6.00pm (AEST)
Gates Open: 4.30pm (AEST)
Harlequins Oval, Power Ave, Ashwood, Victoria
Melbourne Rebels Squad
Cruze Ah Nau, Alofa Alofa*, Paul Asquith, Steve Cummins, Jack Debreczeni, Tom English, Colby Fainga’a, Harley Fox*, Jamie Hagan, Reece Hodge, Mitch Inman, Sam Jeffries, Luke Jones, Pat Leafa, Ben Meehan, Tom Moloney, Sefa Naivalu, Jonah Placid, Jordy Reid, Culum Retallick, Fereti Sa’aga*, Siliva Siliva, Mick Snowden, Nic Stirzaker, Adam Thomson, Lopeti Timani