Leafa in for Rebels

Date published: May 8 2014

Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has made one change to his XV that will face the 'Canes as hooker Pat Leafa comes in for Shota Horie.

Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has made one change to his starting XV that will take on the Hurricanes as Pat Leafa comes in for Shota Horie.

Meanwhile, scrum-half Nic Stirzaker's injury allows Ben Meehan to return to the matchday 23 for the first time since Round Six of the season.

Leafa, who scored his first try for the club in the 22-16 defeat to the Sharks last Friday, has worked his way back into the side, says boss McGahan.

“Pat started the season really well for us, and then Shota got in there through weight of performance.

“Pat's work off the bench has really given him an opportunity to start now, in what is a really competitive positions, so we're looking for him to turn his impact off the bench into a starting position this week. He's really looking forward to the opportunity.”

Toby Smith's shoulder injury again prevents the prop from tasting any action, after he also missed last week's game, but McGahan was impressed with replacement Cruze Ah-Nau on his first Super Rugby start and is happy to keep the young West Australian in there.

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Cruze Ah-Nau.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Paul Alo-Emilie, 19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Tom Kingston, 23 Angus Roberts.

Date: Friday, May 9
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kickoff: 19:40 local (10:40 BST, 09:40 GMT)
Referee: Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)