Four changes from Rebels

Date published: March 15 2017

Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has made four changes to his line-up for the fourth round clash against the Chiefs at AAMI Park on Friday.

Prop Fereti Sa’aga is handed his Super Rugby run-on debut, Culum Retallick is lock and Sefa Naivalu and Laurie Weeks return from injury.

Naivalu, who was sidelined for the first two games of the season with a leg infection, will partner childhood friend Marika Koroibete on the Rebels wings for the first time while Weeks returns from a cork.

The 22-year-old Sa’aga will make his first start after he impressed in his Super Rugby debut against the Hurricanes in the second round when he came off the bench for the final ten minutes at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Injury to Lopeti Timani (knee) will see Retallick make his first start of the 2017 season and Tom English shifted back to the midfield after a head knock to Mitch Inman.

Harlequin’s Murray Douglas is set to make his Super Rugby debut after McGahan named the uncapped the lock on the reserves bench, alongside hooker Pat Leafa who is set to make his 50th Super Rugby appearance for the Rebels.

Rebels: 15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Nic Stirzaker (c), 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Steve Cummins, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Fereti Sa’aga
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Ben Volavola

Date: Friday, March 17
Venue: AAMI Park
Kick-off: 19:45 local (08:45 GMT)
Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Assistant Referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)