Team Announcement vs Chiefs

· Super Rugby Trans-Tasman
by Rebels Media

Melbourne Rebels’ Interim Head Coach, Kevin Foote, has named a strong Match Day 23 ahead of Sunday’s Round 4 match against the Chiefs in Sydney.

A back row reshuffle sees Vice-Captain, Michael Wells, return to left flanker, with popular workhorse, Richard Hardwick, recalled at Number 7.  

Hardwick was one of the Rebels’ strongest contributors in Super Rugby AU, after starting 7 games, playing over 500 minutes, and ranking among his side’s top performers in tackles, defenders beaten, and turnovers won.  

The stocky flanker’s inclusion allows Rebels’ star, Rob Leota, to switch back to left lock – a position he’s made his own during a breakout 2021 campaign.  

Leota was once again one of Melbourne’s best players in last week’s clash against the Highlanders, providing plenty of run and physicality in a gruelling eighty-minute contest.  

The twenty-four-year-old will no doubt play a crucial role in the Rebels’ chances of claiming a maiden Trans-Tasman victory on Sunday.  

Another key Rebel to watch will be excitement machine, Marika Koroibete, who last week opened his 2021 scoring account by running through two tries, with his second major seeing him move to outright second place on the Melbourne Rebels’ all-time leading try scorers list.  

Koroibete has taken Australian rugby by storm since arriving at the Rebels in 2017, with the twenty-eight-year-old having now scored 23 tries from 67 Super Rugby games, trailing only current Wallabies’ teammate, Reece Hodge, who has 31.  

The explosive winger will again start alongside Sevens’ star, Lachie Anderson, and emerging fullback, George Worth, who continues to impress with his on-ball abilities in what is his first season with the Rebels.  

Meanwhile, Rhys Van Nek looks set to make his second Super Rugby appearance of his young career, after recovering from a lower body injury sustained in Melbourne’s Round 2 Super Rugby AU clash with the Queensland Reds.  

The rampaging front rower has been named alongside James Hanson and Matt Gibbon, as front row replacements, while the experienced Ross Haylett-Petty joins Eastwood’s Michael Icely as Melbourne’s back row support.  

James Tuttle has been brought in to play his first match since the Rebels’ Round 2 battle in Wellington, joining speedster’s Andrew Kellaway and Frank Lomani in rounding out the Rebels’ Match Day 23.  

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

“Richard Hardwick has been brought into our starting XV. He’s been outstanding this year around the breakdown, both on attack and defence, and brings real clarity around what we need, and carries great strength ensuring we get the breakdown right.  

“We’re fortunate to have great depth in our squad, so to have players such as Rhys Van Nek and Michael Icely be called up and firing to get the job done, it’s fantastic to see and we can’t wait for Sunday.”  

Following improved back-to-back efforts against the Hurricanes and the Highlanders, the Rebels will enter Sunday’s contest confident in their ability to perform strongly against a Chiefs side desperate for redemption following last week’s shock loss.  

Originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, June 5 at FMG Stadium in Waikato, this weekend’s clash will now take place at Sydney’s Leichhardt Oval on Sunday, June 6, due to the extended travel ban between Australia and New Zealand.  

The Melbourne Rebels face the Chiefs in Round 4 of the Trans-Tasman Tournament. Tickets are now available through Ticketek or at the gate, with $20 tickets for adults, $10 for concession and free for kids. The match can be seen ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport, kicking off at 3 PM AEST.

No.

Position

name

NOTES

1

LOOSEHEAD PROP

Cameron Orr

 

2

HOOKER

Jordan Uelese

 

3

TIGHTHEAD PROP

Cabous Eloff

 

4

LEFT LOCK

Rob Leota

 

5

RIGHT LOCK

Trevor Hosea

 

6

LEFT FLANKER

Michael Wells (VC)

 

7

RIGHT FLANKER

Richard Hardwick

 

8

NUMBER EIGHT

IsI Naisarani

 

9

SCRUMHALF

Joe Powell

 

10

FLYHALF

Carter Gordon

 

11

LEFT WING

Marika Koroibete

 

12

INSIDE CENTRE

Matt To’omua ©

 

13

OUTSIDE CENTRE

Stacey Ili

 

14

RIGHT WING

Lachie Anderson

 

15

FULLBACK

George Worth

 

Replacements:

 

 

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

 

16.

RESERVE

James Hanson

FR HOOKER

17.

RESERVE

Matt Gibbon

FR LH

18.

RESERVE

Rhys Van Nek

FR TH

19.

RESERVE

Ross Haylett-Petty

 

20.

RESERVE

Michael Icely

 

21.

RESERVE

James Tuttle

 

22.

RESERVE

Andrew Kellaway

 

23.

RESERVE

Frank Lomani

 

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