Round 7 Team Announcement

· Super Rugby - AU
by Rebels Media

Melbourne Rebels’ Head Coach, Dave Wessels, has made five changes ahead of the Rebels’ Round 7 Easter Saturday blockbuster against the first-placed Queensland Reds at AAMI Park.

Former Australian Sevens stars, Lewis Holland and Jeral Skelton, have been selected to make their Super Rugby debuts, with both players named as replacements for the clash.

After relocating to Melbourne last year following the cancellation of the Sevens World Rugby Series due to COIVD-19, Holland and Skelton have thrived making the transition to XV’s, with both players enjoying stellar preseasons this year.

Their inclusions will be welcome additions to a hungry Rebels side looking to claim its third consecutive Super Rugby AU victory and cement its standing in postseason contention, with the Super Rugby AU Finals now just four games away.

Saturday’s game also represents an opportunity for Melbourne to equal a club record, fourth consecutive win at home for the first time since 2015.

Melbourne Rebels Head Coach, Dave Wessels, said:

“I’m really pleased for both Lewis and Jeral who were going really well until they got injured, so it’s really exciting to have them both back on deck. What you always get out of the Sevens is guys that work really hard and players that are dynamic athletes, so we’re looking forward to seeing how they go.

“This week is a good opportunity for us to build momentum. We feel we’ve gotten better with every game and this week will be a great opportunity to test ourselves against a team playing really well and with a lot of confidence.”

The Rebels have made two changes to their Starting XV, with Jordan Uelese’s strong form seeing the robust hooker rewarded with the number 2 jersey, joining Cabous Eloff and Pone Fa'amausili in the front row.

Steve Cummins and Trevor Hosea will pair in the second row for the third time this season, with both players enjoying standout games in their side’s Round 5 win over the Waratahs.

Richard Hardwick will once again be joined by Michael Wells and recently named Wallabies squad member, Josh Kemeny, as the loose forwards, with the trio combining for an extraordinary 121 tackles so far this season.

Captain, Matt To'omua, and Joe Powell will continue to lead in the halves, with the pair making their fifth consecutive starting appearance together, as will Reece Hodge and Stacey Ili in the centres. Ili will be looking to extend his impressive form at home, after making an exhilarating AAMI Park debut against the Waratahs.

The twenty-nine-year-old played an instrumental role in the Rebels’ opening major, and continued to be a strong performer all night, running for 57 metres with three offloads.

Frank Lomani is the only change to the Rebels’ backline, with the Fijian International set to make his first start of the year, replacing the Lachie Anderson at 14, who’s unavailable through injury. Lomani will combine on the wing with close-friend Marika Koroibete, who’s enjoyed a scintillating start to Season 2021, placing among the competition’s leaders in carries (47) clean breaks (8), offloads (8) and metres run (348).

Joining the duo will be fullback, Tom Pincus, who’s made a strong impression of his own in his second season with the Rebels. Entering this week’s clash, Pincus trails only Koroibete in metres carried (252) and clean breaks (8).

Meanwhile Albert Anae is set to become the third player to make their Rebels debut this weekend, after being named as a replacement tighthead prop, joining James Hanson, Matt Gibbon, Thomas Nowlan and Rob Leota on the bench.

James Tuttle will again be called upon as the back-up number nine, with Lewis Holland and Jeral Skelton rounding out the 23-man squad, while Lucio Sordoni and Glen Vaihu have been named as the 24 and 25th men respectively.

The Melbourne Rebels play the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park on Saturday April 3 at 7:45 PM. The clash will be shown live on 9Gem. 

 

No.

Position

Name

NOTES

1

LOOSEHEAD PROP

Cabous Eloff (FR)

 

2

HOOKER

Jordan Uelese

 

3

TIGHTHEAD PROP

Pone Fa'amausili (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 ( C ) 

 

11

LEFT WING

Marika Koroibete

 

12

INSIDE CENTRE

Reece Hodge (VC)

 

13

OUTSIDE CENTRE

Stacey Ili

 

14

RIGHT WING

Frank Lomani

 

15

FULLBACK

Tom Pincus

 

Replacements:

 

 

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

 

16.

RESERVE

James Hanson

FR HOOKER (FR)

17.

RESERVE

Matt Gibbon

FR LH

18.

RESERVE

Albert Anae

FR TH

19.

RESERVE

Tom Nowlan

 

20.

RESERVE

Robert Leota

 

21.

RESERVE

James Tuttle

 

22.

RESERVE

Lewis Holland

 

23.

RESERVE

Jeral Skelton

 

24

RESERVE

Lucio Sordoni

 

25

RESERVE

Glen Vaihu

 

 

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