McMahon, Fainga'a return for Aussie derby

Thu, 11 May 2017 09:41
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Melbourne Rebels will welcome back Sean McMahon and Colby Fainga'a for Saturday's Australian derby.

The Rebels take on the Reds in Melbourne.

Rebels coach Tony McGahan has named a settled line-up for the Round 12 clash, with only one change to the starting XV  - the return of stand-in captain Colby Fainga'a after a week on the sideline.

Fainga'a was a late withdrawal against the Lions last weekend after the flank failed to pass a fitness test for a thigh injury during the pre-game warm-up.

McMahon is set to make his first appearance of the 2017 Super Rugby season after he was named on the reserves bench.

The Wallaby back row forward has missed the first 11 rounds of the season after a knee strain during rehabilitation delayed the 22-year-old's return from an ankle injury sustained during the Rugby Championship last year.

"It's timely to get back some key personnel with the return of Colby [Fainga'a] and Sean [McMahon]to provide some much-needed experience and depth against a quality Queensland Reds outfit," McGahan said.

"We know that we let ourselves down against the Lions last weekend with poor execution so our focus this week is to perform the basics otherwise the Reds will punish our mistakes."

McGahan has kept the same tight five with no changes to the front row of Toby Smith, James Hanson and Laurie Weeks, along with Steve Cummins and Dominic Day in the locks.

The halves partnership of scrumhalf Ben Meehan and flyhalf Ben Volavola, who was named on Wednesday in Fiji's 36-player squad for June's five-Test international series, will start for the second consecutive game.

The Rebels have named an unchanged back line for the third week with Mitch Inman and Tom English to combine in the centres, Marika Koroibete and Sefa Naivalu on the wings and Reece Hodge at fullback.

McMahon will be joined on the reserves bench by Siliva Siliva, Fereti Sa'aga, Tyrel Lomax, Culum Retallick, Harrison Goddard, Will Miller and Jack Maddocks.

The Rebels will contest its third Australian derby of the year when they host the third-placed Reds on Saturday. Just four points separate the two sides on the Australian Conference ladder with six rounds remaining.

The Rebels have claimed victory in four of the six previous meetings against the Reds, including the two encounters last season.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tom English, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga'a (captain), 6 Hugh Sinclair, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Fereti Sa'aga, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Will Miller, 23 Jack Maddocks.

Date: Saturday, May 13
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.45 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19