Rebels beef up for Stormers
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Rebels skipper Adam Coleman will line up in the second row, as the Rebels made three changes to their starting XV to tackle the Stormers in Cape Town on Friday.
Coleman shrugged off any injury concerns after being substituted at half-time in the loss to Bulls last weekend.
Lopeti Timani comes onto the flank for Ross Haylett-Petty, while Billy Meakes returns to the centres to replace the injured Dane Haylett-Petty. Jack Maddocks will start at fullback, and Tom English on the wing.
Wallaby front row forward Jermaine Ainsley makes his first start since the Hurricanes match in March in a direct swap with Sam Talakai, who is in line to make his 50th Super Rugby appearance this Friday.
Across the bench, 20-year-old front row forward Sama Malolo is set to make his Super Rugby debut, while flank Colby Fainga'a and outside back Semisi Tupou round out the inclusions.
"It's great to have LT [Timani], Jermaine and Billy back in the team - aside from Aranu Rangi [who has been fantastic] it's the pack that we started our campaign with.
"We know there's a fair bit of cohesion in that group and that will be important on Friday.
"The Stormers are a quality outfit and a particularly dangerous prospect in front of their Cape Town crowd.
It's a wonderful challenge for our players and we're excited for Friday."
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Tom English, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 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 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Sama Malolo, 17 Fereti Sa'aga, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Semisi Tupou, 23 Sefa Naivalu.
Date: Friday, April 27
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT; 23.00 AEST)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Christie du Preez