Third time lucky for Rebels?

Thu, 04 Apr 2013 08:30
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Wallaby Scott Higginbotham, will become the third player to captain the Rebels this campaign when the embattled franchise takes on the Force in Perth this weekend.

Wallaby Scott Higginbotham, will become the third player to captain the Rebels this campaign when the embattled franchise takes on the Force in Perth this weekend.

Higginbotham has been named as Captain following the withdrawal of Gareth Delve.

Wallaby Cooper Vuna has been added to the bench following his one week suspension, while Cadeyrn Neville and former Force centre, Rory Sidey, both get an opportunity in the starting XV.

After missing last week's match, Scott Fuglistaller has returned to the starting line up at the expense of Jordy Reid, who returns to the bench following his impressive run on debut against the Cheetahs.

The Rebels have won four of the previous five encounters against the Western Force, with the highest ever margin being nine points.

Rebels Head Coach, Damien Hill, reiterated the significance of this match and the history these two sides have shared long before Super Rugby.

"The contest between these two Rugby states stems back to the Australian Rugby Shield, when the biggest battle was always between Western Australia and Victoria, while in sporting codes such as AFL there is a rich history between the two sporting states," said Hill.

"The history of this great Rugby rivalry now lives on, with both Clubs demonstrating this in their previous encounters.

"We have the advantage on the win sheet, but this match means so much for both teams.

The players feel as though they need to record a win for their city on this three match tour, while the Force were desperately unlucky against the NSW Waratahs, and the local support in Perth is very supportive of their Rugby team.

We know what derby matches can bring out in this competition," Hill added.

Coach Hill also endorsed the decision of Higginbotham as Captain for this round's match, saying the leadership role is something that will fit comfortably with the Wallaby flanker.

"Scott will bring a different level of energy to the team's on field leadership. He plays with a level of passion that will be infectious to his peers. He leads by example.

"Unfortunately Lachie Mitchell will miss the match with a cork that has not recovered fully in time, while Gareth has been carrying some mild complaints with his ribs and shoulder. They should both be available next week."

"Jordy was very good last week, and will be given more opportunities having signed with the Club until 2015. At this stage we believe Fuglistaller's experience will be required against a very well drilled Force attack.

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

Date: Saturday, April 6
Venue: NIB Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 16.40 (10.40 SA time; 8.40 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffman (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4