Experience boost for the Rebels' clash with the Hurricanes

Experience boost for the Rebels' clash with the Hurricanes

The Melbourne Rebels will welcome back a wave of Super Rugby experience ahead of Friday's crucial clash against the Hurricanes at Sky Stadium.

Interim-Head Coach, Kevin Foote, has made several changes to last week’s Match Day XV, including welcoming back Rebels’ fan favourite, Andrew Kellaway, who has returned to Melbourne for the remainder of the Trans-Tasman tournament.

Back after a successful stint with the NEC Green Rockets in Japan’s Top League, Kellaway’s ability to pressure defences with his explosive speed and insatiable appetite at the try line, will be a welcome addition to a Rebels side looking to apply increased scoreboard pressure on Friday night.

Joining Kellaway for their first match of Trans-Tasman will be Wallabies squad member, Trevor Hosea, who has been selected at right lock.

Fellow Wallabies’ teammate, Isi Naisarani, returns to the starting side after serving out his three-match suspension, named at the number eight, with Vice-Captain, Michael Wells shifting back to left flank, and Josh Kemeny, on the right-hand side.

Joe Powell has a new partner at the halves, with Carter Gordon’s impressive run of form leading to promotion at starting flyhalf.

Meanwhile Captain, Matt To’omua, makes his first appearance at inside centre for season 2021, combining with Campbell Magnay who shifts to the outside, while Marika Koroibete joins Andrew Kellaway and George Worth in rounding out the Rebels’ starting XV.

The trio of James Hanson, Matt Gibbon and Lucio Sordoni, will make their second consecutive appearance as reserve front rowers, with Ross Haylett-Petty and Richard Hardwick rounding out the back row cover, while James Tuttle, Stacey Ili and Frank Lomani complete the Rebels’ 23.

Melbourne Rebels’ Interim- Head Coach, Kevin Foote, said:

“We are really pumped to have two great players coming back into our pack in Trevor and Isi, who are both very physical and keen to get back after suspension, while Kellaway brings experience and a very balanced game to our back three.

“With a short turnaround and travel, we have really come into the week with a great focus and energy to be better. We know that our set piece and exits where not up to scratch and our defence means more to us than what was presented last week, and we’re looking forward to Friday night.”

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