Round 8 Team Announcement

· Super Rugby - AU
by Rebels Media

Melbourne Rebels’ Head Coach, Dave Wessels, has made five changes to his side as the Rebels prepare to face a fresh Western Force outfit in Round 8 of the Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU competition.

Versatile Northern Panthers’ product, Rob Leota, will make his first start in over a year, after being named as his side’s left lock, with Steve Cummins moving to the bench.

The change is one of three to the starting XV, with James Hanson replacing Jordan Uelese in the front row, while second-gamer, Lewis Holland, will make his first start in Super Rugby, partnering with Stacey Ili in the midfield, after being named at twelve.

Holland’s inclusion will see Rebels’ Vice Captain, Reece Hodge, shift to fullback for the first time this season, with Tom Pincus selected as a replacement.

After running through his maiden try of the season last week, Melbourne’s all-time leading point scorer again looms as an important figure in his side’s quest for their third win of the season.

The backrow and halves remain unchanged, while for the second consecutive week in a row, the Rebels will run out with arguably the fastest pair of wings in Super Rugby AU, with Frank Lomani, receiving another opportunity to partner with close-friend, Marika Koroibete.

Lomani produced an eye-catching display in his first start of the season. The twenty-four-year-old repeatedly cut through Queensland’s sturdy defence, showcasing his speed and mesmerizing footwork, in what was an impressive Man of the Match performance for the Rebels.

Meanwhile, Brad Wilkin returns after missing the past five games with a shoulder injury. The twenty-five-year-old looks set to make an immediate impact on Friday night after recently completing an impressive block of training.

Joining the talented flanker on the bench will be Jordan Uelese, Matt Gibbon, Steve Cummins, James Tuttle, Jeral Skleton, Tom Pincus and Argentinian international, Lucio Sordoni, who looks set to make his fourth Super Rugby AU appearance in his promising career.

Melbourne Rebels’ Head Coach, Dave Wessels, said: “This is a really important game for us – we know the Force will be fresh coming off the bye, but we just need to be better than last week. We were really disappointed with that performance and we know can be better and Friday is the perfect night to prove it.

“It’s a massive boost to have Wilko back – he’s a really popular player and he’s worked really hard to be ready and get through his rehab block, so to have him back in the mix is really healthy for us.”

In what will be the 17th encounter between the two fierce rivals, Friday represents the first match the Western Force have played at AAMI Park since Season 2017.

The Rebels will enter the Round 8 clash chasing their thirteenth victory against their top-3 rival, though with eight of their last nine Super Rugby encounters being decided by single-figure margins, Friday night promises to be another enthralling affair of Australian rugby.

The Melbourne Rebels battle the Western Force at AAMI Park on Friday April 9 at 7:45 PM. The clash will be shown ad free, live and on demand on Stan Sports, while tickets can be purchased online at Ticketek.  

 

No.

Position

name

NOTES

1

LOOSEHEAD PROP

Cabous Eloff (FR)

 

2

HOOKER

James Hanson

 

3

TIGHTHEAD PROP

Pone Faamausili (FR)

 

4

LEFT LOCK

Robert Leota

 

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

Lewis Holland

 

13

OUTSIDE CENTRE

Stacey Ili

 

14

RIGHT WING

Frank Lomani

 

15

FULLBACK

Reece Hodge (VC)

 

Replacements:

 

 

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

 

16.

RESERVE

Jordan Uelese

FR HOOKER (FR)

17.

RESERVE

Matt Gibbon

FR LH

18.

RESERVE

Lucio Sordoni

FR TH

19.

RESERVE

Steve Cummins

 

20.

RESERVE

Brad Wilkin

 

21.

RESERVE

James Tuttle

 

22.

RESERVE

Tom Pincus

 

23.

RESERVE

Jeral Skelton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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