Genia out of Rebels trial match against Tahs
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wallaby scrumhalf Will Genia will miss the Rebels' final Super Rugby trial against the Waratahs due to a back injury.
Genia hasn't yet played for the Rebels, pulling out of the Brisbane Tens with the back concern that is still lingering, putting him under a cloud for round one.
He is one of four big-name Rebels injured for the final trial week, with wing Marika Koroibete and flank Richard Hardwick missing with knee injuries and centre Billy Meakes still recovering from foot surgery, that is set to rule him out of the early parts of the 2018 Super Rugby season.
Outside of that trio, Rebels coach Dave Wessels has picked a formidable squad with new captain Adam Coleman and Wallabies Jermaine Ainsley, Lopeti Timani, Reece Hodge, Sefa Naivalu and Amanaki Mafi for their first appearances of 2018.
The trial will mark the first occasion for new recruits Coleman, Ainsley and substitute Ross Haylett-Petty to pull on the Rebels jersey ahead of next weekend’s season opener against the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park.
Prop Tetera Faulkner, hooker Jordan Uelese, lock Matt Philip and flanker Angus Cottrell have retained their spots in the starting line-up following the Rebels’ first trial match of the year against the Brumbies last weekend.
Scrumhalf Michael Ruru will partner Jack Debreczeni in the halves after the experienced flyhalf was promoted to the starting line-up for the final trial match while Jack Maddocks and Naivalu will occupy the wings and Dane Haylett-Petty at fullback.
Wessels and the club’s medical staff have opted for a cautious approach to the final trial with Will Genia (back), Marika Koroibete (knee) and Richard Hardwick (knee) given more time to overcome their injuries.
The Rebels finalise their trial phase of the pre-season on Thursday as preparations wrap up ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season.
Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: Fereti Sa’aga, Mahe Vailanu, Sam Talakai, Trevor Hosea, Esei Ha’angana, Colby Fainga’a, Ross Haylett-Petty, Harrison Goddard, Tayler Adams, Kitione Ratu, Sione Tuipulotu, David Horwitz, Semisi Tupou, Dom Shipperley, Pone Fa’amausili.
Date: Thursday, February 15
Venue: Brookvale Oval, Sydney
Kick-off: 18.45 (7.45 GMT)