Rebels' trio back for Hurricanes clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Melbourne Rebels have made three changes to the team's starting line-up ahead of Friday's clash with New Zealand outfit, the Hurricanes at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
Flank Lopeti Timani, lock Matt Phillip and utility back Tom English all return to the starting line-up, replacing lock Geoff Parling, flanker Colby Fainga'a and wing Sefa Naivalu.
Wallaby prop Ben Daley has returned to the Rebels' bench after overcoming a concussion injury sustained against the Waratahs, while Wallaby hooker Jordan Uelese is also included on the bench in place of Mahe Vailanu.
The Rebels have again selected a six-two forwards-backs split on the bench, with Ross Haylett-Petty returning to the matchday 23 after being rested against the Sharks last weekend. Ross' brother Dane was not considered for selection this week as a precaution after taking slightly longer than expected to overcome concussion symptoms sustained in the Waratahs game.
"I can honestly say this week has been the toughest selection I’ve ever had to make," said Rebels head coach Dave Wessels.
"We are very fortunate to have so many players fit, it's been incredibly hard and I've had a few sleepless nights.
"In our coaches' discussion, I've never had less of a consensus than we had this week. It's a great problem to have."
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Tom English, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Sefa Naivalu.
Date: Friday, March 30
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.45 (21.45 NZ time; 08.45 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: William Houston (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)