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Wells and Uelese set for Sunday Return

Wed, 11/05/2022, 6:57 am
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media
Wells and Uelese will bring in over 100 games worth of Super Rugby experience to the Rebels' Starting XV.
Wells and Uelese will bring in over 100 games worth of Super Rugby experience to the Rebels' Starting XV.

Melbourne Rebels Head Coach Kevin Foote has named a strong Match Day 23 for Sunday’s crucial Round 13 clash with the Chiefs at AAMI Park.

Chasing their second win in three matches against New Zealand opposition, the Rebels welcome back over 100 games worth of Super Rugby experience, with Captain Michael Wells and Wallaby Jordan Uelese returning to the Rebels’ Starting XV.

Uelese will combine with Matt Gibbon and fellow Burn Boy, Pone Fa’amausili in the front-row for the first time this season, while Wells’ inclusion is one of two adjustments to the backrow, with workhorse Brad Wilkin shifting back to No.7, replacing Richard Hardwick, who has been named on the bench.

Wilkin was one of the Rebels’ strongest contributors last week, providing plenty of run and physicality over a gruelling eighty-minute encounter.

The twenty-six-year-old scored his second try of the season, while also recording a team-high 14 tackles, and producing 45 metres from 9 runs.

The emerging Josh Hill, James Tuttle and Glen Vaihu will return to the Starting XV for this weekend’s clash, with Andrew Kellaway pairing with Stacey Ili at centre.

Meanwhile James Hanson, Cameron Orr and Cabous Eloff have been named as front-row replacements, with Josh Canham and Richard Hardwick providing back-row support.

The experienced Joe Powell joins Nick Jooste and Lukas Ripley in rounding out Sunday’s side.

Melbourne Rebels Head Coach Kevin Foote said his players were determined to learn from last week’s match in Auckland and come out strong, with a point to prove on Sunday.

“Everyone at the Club is hungry to get back into action this weekend,” said Foote.

“What happened last week was unacceptable and not a true representation of what we’re about, what our core values are, and what we represent as a group.

“We reviewed hard early this week, and now we’re focused on putting our learning’s into action and playing a strong brand of rugby that we can be proud of and that our partners and supporters can be proud of.

“We’re excited to welcome back two experienced players in our Captain Michael Wells and Jordan Uelese, plus Josh Hill, who has been really impressive for us in just his first season of Super Rugby.”

After last week’s opening trip to New Zealand, the Rebels return to Melbourne for their second last home game of the regular season.

Sunday’s clash will be played at the family-friendly time of 2 pm in what will be the only major sport to be played in Melbourne that day. For tickets, click here.

The Melbourne Rebels will face the Chiefs at AAMI Park on Sunday May 15 with kick-off at 2:00 PM (AEST). Stan Sports will broadcast the clash ad-free, live and on-demand.


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