Captain Coleman back for Waratahs clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Melbourne Rebels have made four changes to the matchday 23 for Sunday's game against the Waratahs at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
Rebels skipper Adam Coleman returns to the second row after the lock was rested for last weekend's victory over the Brumbies at AAMI Park with sternum soreness.
Coleman's return will see Ross Haylett-Petty shifted to the back row after head coach Dave Wessels rewarded the physical flank with a second consecutive start this season after an impressive outing against the Brumbies.
Flyer Marika Koroibete will make his long-awaited first start of the year after the international wing returned from a knee injury via the reserves bench last weekend.
Hooker Jodan Uelese is expected to miss a week after a minor hamstring injury suffered at training midweek which will see Anaru Rangi promoted to the starting line-up for his run-on debut for the Rebels.
Home-grown hooker Mahe Vailanu is in line to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench after the 19-year-old was named on the reserves bench.
"It's great to have Adam (Coleman) back in the mix this weekend," Wessels said.
"Having him back in training has really lifted the standard of our set piece work.
Gus Cottrell was down with the flu in the early part of the week, so we’ve decided to give him the week off.
It's another well-deserved opportunity for Ross [Haylett-Petty] – who got through a mountain of work against the Brumbies – to start on the side of our scrum."
The Rebels will be looking to make a clean sweep of the Australian Conference to start their 2018 Super Rugby campaign following bonus point victories over the Reds, Sunwolves and Brumbies in the opening three games.
Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Ross Haylett-Petty, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Colby Fainga’a, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Sefa Naivalu.
Date: Sunday, March 18
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 16.05 (05.05 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)