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- 24th May 2013
- KO 10:40
- Ground: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Super Rugby preview: Rebels v Waratahs
Nick Phipps and Luke Jones both return to the Rebels starting side for Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Waraths at AAMI Park.
Phipps takes over at scrum-half from Nic Stirzaker while lock Jones starts ahead of Cadeyrn Neville.
James O'Connor was unable to return early from injury after the decision was made by the medical staff not to risk the 23 year old.
Rebels High Performance Manager, Mark Andrews said the risk was too great at this early stage.
"James was desperate to play, which was admirable," said Andrews.
"However it would not be in the team's or player's best interest to risk further damage when the injury is a significant one, and has not fully healed."
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has made four changes to his starting XV to play the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.
After making an impact from the bench in last week's 28-22 win over the Brumbies, scrum-half Matt Lucas and inside centre Berrick Barnes earn starts this week, with Brendan McKibbin and Rob Horne included amongst the replacements.
John Ulugia is named at hooker after Tatafu Polota-Nau fractured his forearm in last week's game. Alongside him, prop Sekope Kepu returns to the run-on side, whilst Paddy Ryan is named on the bench.
The other additions to the matchday 22 are replacement hooker Luke Holmes and winger Tom Kingston.
The Tahs will be looking to keep their winning record intact, having never lost to the Melbourne side in their five previous encounters.
Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom English, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Lachlan Mitchell, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Cadeyrn Neville, 19 Gareth Delve, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 James Hilgendorf, 22 Kimami Sitauti
Waratahs:15 Israel Folau, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Benn Robinson
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Will Skelton, 19 Mitchell Chapman, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Rob Horne, 22 Tom Kingston
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com