The Melbourne Rebels Super W squad will officially launch their 2023 Buildcorp Super W campaign this weekend, when they lock horns with the Queensland Reds for some Saturday afternoon rugby at AAMI Park.
Following a successful off-season, that’s seen hard fought trials against the Brumbies in Albury and Wagga Wagga, and the Western Force in Perth, the Rebels will enter this weekend’s challenge full of confidence.
Melbourne Rebels Super W Head Coach, Jason Rogers, said the start of a new season is “an exciting occasion for all players, staff and supporters,” and that he couldn’t wait to rip in come Saturday.
“It’s going to be a fantastic day for our Club and really exciting to see all of our hard work put into action,” said Rogers.
“A number of our players are debuting for the Rebels, the first time wearing the strip, representing themselves and their families, which is a great story, and something we’re very proud of.
“The players we have are amazing - they are hardworking, committed and dedicated to wanting to get better. They have faced challenges this pre-season but have never given up. They are a real credit to our organization, and our staff are grateful to be a part of their rugby journey this season.”
Looking ahead to the challenge their opponents present, Rogers emphasized the importance to “stick to who we are” and “play our game.”
“ The Reds are a quality side and have firepower across the park, so we understand the massive challenge that this game is for us.
“If we can stick to who we are, and how we like to play the game, we give ourselves the best opportunity this Saturday. It’s going to be a titanic game and I can’t wait to do it at AAMI Park in front of our members and fans, make them proud and give them a great show.”
The Rebels have named a strong new-look front row, led by Janita Kareta, Hope Kareta and Asipau Mafi, while the experienced Michaela Maunsell will partner with Tanya Yabaki in the second row.
Captain, Ashely Marsters, joins Argentinian international, Ariana Borgiani and Utumalefata To'omalatai Atonio Eli in a powerful back row, while Sheniqua Taula and Chanelle Kohika Skipper will pair in the new-look halves.
In her second season at The Stockade, Hope Schuster, has been named at outside centre, alongside Harmony Vatau, who has been selected at 12, while the electrifying Kerri Johnson, Karin Kusano and Jade Te Aute round out the back three.
Fijian duo Jiowana Sauto and Vika Matarugu will provide front row support alongside Victorian star, Laeima Bosenavulagi, with Sydney Niupulusu, Naila Faaiuaso, Faalua Tugaga, Wasie Toolis and Sarah Hogan completing the Rebels Super W Match Day 23.
Saturday’s season opener promises to be a memorable day for Victorian rugby, with fans getting the opportunity to watch two matches and celebrate what it truly means to be part of One Club.
Don’t miss the pre-game action for the first Rebels Super W game of 2023. Entry is via Gate 2 from 4:50 pm, for a 5:05 pm kickoff.
Melbourne Rebels Super W Squad Announcement
1. Janita Kareta
2. Hope Kareta
3. Asipau Mafi
4. Michaela Maunsell
5. Tanya Yabaki
6. Ashley Marsters (C)
7. Ariana Borgiani
8. Utumalefata To'omalatai Atonio Eli
9. Sheniqua Taula
10. Chanelle Kohika Skipper
11. Kerri Johnson
12. Harmony Vatau
13. Hope Schuster
14. Karin Kusano
15. Jade Te Aute
16. Jiowana Sauto
17. Vika Matarugu
18. Laeima Bosenavulagi
19. Sydney Niupulusu
20. Naila Faaiuaso
21. Faalua Tugaga
22. Wasie Toolis
23. Sarah Hogan