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Melbourne Rebels

15 - 25


  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 9th May 2014
  • KO 10:40
  • Ground: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Super Rugby: Rebels v Hurricanes match preview

Last updated: 8th May 2014   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Ardie Savea of the Hurricanes fends Nick Frisby of the Reds on his way to scoring a try

Ardie Savea: Comes into the Hurricanes starting line-up

Nic Stirzaker Rebels v Lions 2013

Nic Stirzaker: Out injured for Rebels

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The Rebels take on the Hurricanes at Melbourne's AAMI Park on Friday in what will be just the third encounter between the two sides.

Since the Rebels joined the expanded Super Rugby competition, both have won a match each - the Rebels toppling the Hurricanes 42-25 in Melbourne in 2011, and the Hurricanes winning 66-24 at Westpac Stadium in 2012. The two teams did not meet in 2013.

The Rebels go into this game on the back of a 16-22 home defeat to the Sharks, while the Hurricanes went down 29-28 to the Stormers.

In team news, Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has made one change to his starting XV as Pat Leafa comes in for Shota Horie.

Meanwhile, scrum-half Nic Stirzaker's injury allows Ben Meehan to return to the matchday 23 for the first time since Round Six of the season.

Leafa, who scored his first try for the club in the 22-16 defeat to the Sharks last Friday, has worked his way back into the side, says boss McGahan.

"Pat started the season really well for us, and then Shota got in there through weight of performance," he said.

"Pat's work off the bench has really given him an opportunity to start now, in what is a really competitive positions, so we're looking for him to turn his impact off the bench into a starting position this week. He's really looking forward to the opportunity."

Toby Smith's shoulder injury again prevents the prop from tasting any action, after he also missed last week's game, but McGahan was impressed with replacement Cruze Ah-Nau on his first Super Rugby start and is happy to keep the young West Australian in there.

Slight reshuffle

For the Hurricanes, coach Mark Hammett has given his forward pack a slight reshuffle.

One of the changes comes in the front row, where Reggie Goodes slots into loosehead prop for Ben Franks, who moves to tighthead in place of Jeffery Toomaga-Allen. Ardie Savea also comes into the line-up, with Jack Lam moving to the bench.

The remainder of the team will be identical to that which faced the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday, provided lock Jeremy Thrush is cleared to play. Thrush suffered a neck injury against the Waratahs, which will be monitored over the coming days.

Loose forward Brad Shields has joined the Hurricanes squad in Melbourne, and will come onto the bench if Thrush is deemed unfit, with Blade Thomson moving into the starting line-up.

Don't miss any of the action on Friday as the Rebels host the Hurricanes live on Sky Sports 3HD from 10.30am.

Rebels: 15 Woodward, 14 Sau, 13 Ellison, 12 Inman, 11 English, 10 Hegarty, 9 Burgess; 1 Ah-Nau, 2 Leafa, 3 Weeks, 4 Neville, 5 Jones, 6 Fainga'a, 7 Fuglistaller, 8 Higginbotham (c).
Replacements: 16 Horie, 17 Lahiff, 18 Alo-Emilie, 19 Pyle, 20 McMahon, 21 Meehan, 22 Kingston, 23 Roberts.

Hurricanes: 15 Taylor, 14 Jane, 13 Smith (c), 12 Leiua, 11 J Savea, 10 Barrett, 9 Perenara; 1 Goodes, 2 Coles, 3 Franks, 4 Thrush/Thomson, 5 Broadhurst, 6 Levave, 7 A Savea, 8 Vito.
Replacements: 16 Matu'u, 17 Eves, 18 Toomaga-Allen, 19 Thomson/Shields, 20 Lam, 21 Guyton, 22 Bateman, 23 Proctor

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Friday 13th February
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06:35Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels
08:40Brumbies vs Reds
17:10Lions vs Hurricanes
Saturday 14th February
06:35Blues vs Chiefs
15:05Sharks vs Cheetahs
17:05Bulls vs Stormers
Sunday 15th February
06:05Waratahs vs Western Force
Friday 20th February
06:35Chiefs vs Brumbies
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs
17:10Bulls vs Hurricanes
Saturday 21st February
06:35Highlanders vs Crusaders
08:40Reds vs Western Force
15:05Stormers vs Blues
17:10Sharks vs Lions
Friday 27th February
06:35Highlanders vs Reds
11:00Western Force vs Hurricanes
17:10Cheetahs vs Blues
Saturday 28th February
06:35Chiefs vs Crusaders
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies
15:05Bulls vs Sharks
17:10Lions vs Stormers
Friday 6th March
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs

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