Namibia vs Georgia

Smith returns for Rebels

Thu, 15 May 2014 08:10
Large toby smith h s

The inclusion of two-time Super Rugby winning prop Toby Smith headlines the changes to the Rebels side to take on the Reds.

The inclusion of two-time Super Rugby winning prop Toby Smith headlines the changes to the Rebels side which heads to Brisbane on Saturday to take on 2011 champions, the Reds.

Smith has missed the past two weeks with a shoulder injury. However, he has recovered to replace Cruze Ah-Nau in the starting line-up and will to go head to head with an experienced Reds front row group - which includes four Wallabies and a former Rebel in Jono Owen.

Ah-Nau drops to the replacement bench after impressing in his first two career starts.

"Playing the Reds in Brisbane, where they have an outstanding record, bringing somebody like Toby with his wonderful experience back into the group is fantastic," coach Tony McGahan said.

"Cruze has been terrific for the last few weeks, but Toby has been in good form there before his injury so he slots back in on the back of that."

Japanese internationals Male Sau and Shota Horie departed for World Cup Qualifiers last weekend, and are also replaced in the team.

Sau's place on the right wing is taken by Tom Kingston, with Telusa Veainu added to the squad after solid form for the Melbourne Unicorns, while Samoa international Steve Fualau replaces Horie as backup hooker.

"Shota and Male have both made great progress here since coming into the program very late, and that's been evident in how they have been improving every week and contributing to the team effort; they'll both be missed," McGahan said.

"It gives opportunity for Steve Fualau, who was involved in the early rounds, and he is really looking forward to coming back in and testing himself at Super Rugby level.

"It also provides an opportunity for Tom Kingston to start, after working so hard behind the scenes on his game, and Telusa is also keen to get game time after a frustrating season so far with injury."

In the final change to the squad, young utility back Jack Debreczeni has a chance to make his Super Rugby debut.

The former West Harbour flyhalf has overcome injury setbacks in his first season of professional rugby, but has played three straight games for Endeavour Hills to be elevated to the bench.

"One of our intentions this year is to look at the group, and work out who can handle Super Rugby," McGahan said.

"Jack hasn't had that opportunity because of injury, but he has worked his back through strong training and club rugby form. Now represents a great time to see what he can contribute and we're all keen to see him do well."

The Reds lost to the Crusaders at home and Saturday, and will be looking to bounce back in front of their home crowd and ensure that they remain the only Australian team the Rebels have never beaten in Super Rugby.

The Rebels did taste victory at Ballymore in pre-season.

However, McGahan believes this game represents a completely different challenge.

"It seems like such a long time ago [pre-season] for both teams, but we'll take a few elements out of it. We know we can travel and get a positive result on the road, and we're playing basically the same side we came up against in February.

"We recognise what a good side the Reds are with Wallaby players and leaders scattered throughout their team, and being at home is somewhere the Reds love playing. We look forward to the opportunity of challenging them; we think we've played some good football on the road recently and are looking forward to the game this weekend."

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Steve Fualau, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emilie, 19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Telusa Veainu.

Date: Saturday, May 17
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.40 (09.40 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Matt O'Brien (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

Namibia vs Georgia
sast: 21h00 | local: 23h00

  • 16 | 17
Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 48 | 27
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26