Delve and Vuna return for Rebels

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 11:12
Large gareth delve rebels lead ou

The Melbourne Rebels will be boosted by the returns of captain Gareth Delve and wing Cooper Vuna for their clash against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

The Melbourne Rebels will be boosted by the returns of captain Gareth Delve and wing Cooper Vuna for their clash against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

The Rebels past played when they lost to the Reds 23-13 in an error-strewn encounter in Melbourne two weeks ago.

The side from Melbourne battled in that game as they could not get a grip on the game and if they cannot do the same on Saturday they could be in for their first loss on their overseas tour.

James O'Connor relinquishes the captaincyt to the returning Gareth Delve which could prove vital for O'Connor's game although he did not look unfamiliar with the captaincy role against the Reds.

Rebels head coach Damien Hill is encouraged by the debut of New-Zealand born wing Jason Woodward as well as the return of Vuna.

"The Club is in a great position having players such as Jason and Cooper available for selection.

"Cooper is renowned for his try scoring ability, while Jason has shown in last season's ITM Cup he is a player of the future," said Hill.

There have been two changes in the backline with both wings from the loss to the Reds being replaced by the rookie Woodward and Vuna.

Amongst the forwards there has been quite a significant shift in players as Delve returns to No. 8 which shifts Higginbotham onto the flank and Luke Jones from flank to lock in the place of Caderyn Neville, who shifts to the bench.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Angus Roberts, 14 Jason Woodward, 13 Mitchell Inman, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Aleo-Emile, 18 Caderyn Neville, 19 Jordy Reid, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Richard Kingi.

Date: Saturday, March 23
Vanue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa).

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Pool AU
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Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
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Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
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Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
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Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28