Koroibete debuts for Rebels

Date published: March 2 2017

The Rebels have welcomed back experienced heads for their game against the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has made three changes to the team with Marika Koroibete set for his Super Rugby debut, along with the return of James Hanson and Mitch Inman to the starting line-up.

Koroibete will make his first appearance in Rebels colours on the wing after a knee injury sidelined the Rugby League convert for the club’s pre-season trial matches, Brisbane Global Rugby Tens and opening round.

Wallaby Hanson returns to action after he missed the first game of the season against the Blues with a hip and leg injury, respectively, while Inman will partner Reece Hodge in the centres.

Nic Stirzaker will line up against the Hurricanes at scrum-half after the captain overcame a head knock against the Blues which saw him substituted early in the first half.

The Rebels went down in their opening game of the season 56-18 to the Blues while the Hurricanes scored 13 tries against the Sunwolves to claim an 83-17 victory in Tokyo.

This weekend’s fixture will only be the third time that the Rebels have played against the Hurricanes in Wellington after Round 14, 2012 and Round 7, 2015.

The Rebels claimed the victory in the first meeting between the two sides before the Hurricanes bounced back to win the last four consecutive matches to lead the head to head record 4-1 from five matches.

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

Date: Saturday, March 4
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 17:15 local (04:15 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant Referees: William Houston (Australia), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

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