Round 5 Team Announcement vs Waratahs

· Super Rugby - AU
by Rebels Media

Melbourne Rebels’ Head Coach, Dave Wessels, has made four changes ahead of the Rebels’ Round 5 Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU clash against the NSW Waratahs.

Wallaby, Jordan Uelese, will be joined in the match day 23 by fellow Victorian Pathway product, Rob Leota and Matt Gibbon, while the experienced Steve Cummins comes back into the Starting XV.

The Rebels return back home to AAMI Park this Friday night for the first time since their 20-point victory over the Emirates Lions on March 7, 2020.

Melbourne enters the clash with a wave of confidence following the Rebels’ fighting Round 4 victory over an emerging Western Force side in Perth last week.

Melbourne Rebels’ Head Coach, David Wessels said: “It’s nice to be able to name a relatively unchanged team. We’ve got to reward the boys after what I thought was a really resilient performance last week.

“Obviously, the only change to the starting XV was because of Ross Haylett-Petty’s suspension. Steve Cummins will come in and Rob Leota will return back to the pack on the bench, while Matt Gibbon replaces injured Isaac Aedo Kailea, who is unfortunately unavailable.

“For many of our boys this will be the first time playing at AAMI, so this will be a very special moment for them and their families. We really just want to celebrate and thank everyone in Victoria for the support they’ve given us the last few months. This game means a lot to us.”

Headlined by Cabous Eloff, whose early season form has caught the collective attention of the Australian rugby world, the Rebels’ front row trio of Eloff, James Hanson and Pone Fa'amausili, will get the opportunity to start together for a third consecutive game.

Steve Cummins replaces the suspended Ross Haylett-Petty and will combine with Narre Warren product, Trevor Hosea, who’s set to play his first Super Rugby game in his home city after making all twelve career appearances on the road.

Richard Hardwick will look to continue his impressive start to 2021, with the twenty-six-year-old joined by Josh Kemeny and Vice-Captain Michael Wells as the loose forwards.

Hardwick says he’s looking forward to playing back in front of the Melbourne fans. “It’s a massive game this week and it’s really awesome to be back,” said Hardwick.

“Just the thought of driving in again and returning back home to AAMI Park is really exciting because the energy our fans give us is immense.

“All of the boys are super excited to be back out playing in front of our crowd again – we can’t wait to see everyone’s familiar faces.”

The Rebels’ starting backline will remain unchanged from the side which took to the field during last week’s thrilling win at HBF Park, with Joe Powell and Matt To'omua to partner in the halves. Vice-Captain, Reece Hodge, will play his fourth consecutive game at inside centre this season, joined by Stacey Ili.

The back three will see one of last weekend’s try scorers, Lachie Anderson, combining with Marika Koroibete on the wings, while Tom Pincus has retained his spot at fullback.

In his return to Super Rugby AU action, Jordan Uelese has been named as a front row finisher, joining Argentina’s Lucio Sordoni, recent debutant Thomas Nowlan, Rob Leota and Matt Gibbon.

Gibbon is set to make his first appearance for Season 2021, after the 2019 ‘Spirit of Weary Dunlop’ recipient successfully recovered from post season surgery.

Glen Vaihu, James Tuttle and Frank Lomani fill out the final spots for Friday night’s home clash.

The Melbourne Rebels play the NSW Waratahs at AAMI Park on Friday March 19 at 7:45 PM. The clash will be shown live and on demand on Stan Sports AU.

No.

Position

name

NOTES

1

LOOSEHEAD PROP

Cabous Eloff (FR)

 

2

HOOKER

James Hanson (FR)

 

3

TIGHTHEAD PROP

Pone Faamausili (FR)

 

4

LEFT LOCK

Steve Cummins

 

5

RIGHT LOCK

Trevor Hosea

 

6

LEFT FLANKER

Joshua Kemeny

 

7

RIGHT FLANKER

Richard Hardwick

 

8

NUMBER EIGHT

Michael Wells (VC)

 

9

SCRUMHALF

Joe Powell

 

10

FLYHALF

Matt To’omua ©

 

11

LEFT WING

Marika Koroibete

 

12

INSIDE CENTRE

Reece Hodge (VC)

 

13

OUTSIDE CENTRE

Stacey Ili

 

14

RIGHT WING

Lachlan Anderson

 

15

FULLBACK

Tom Pincus

 

Replacements:

 

 

In order from Hooker to Full Back - Please see notes 2/3

 

16.

RESERVE

Jordan Uelese

FR HOOKER

17.

RESERVE

Matt Gibbon

FR LH

18.

RESERVE

Lucio Sordoni

FR TH

19.

RESERVE

Tom Nowlan

 

20.

RESERVE

Robert Leota

 

21.

RESERVE

James Tuttle

 

22.

RESERVE

Glen Vaihu

 

23.

RESERVE

Frank Lomani

 

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