No place for Rebels captain Stirzaker

Date published: March 24 2016

In-form halfback Ben Meehan has held his place in the Melbourne Rebels' starting line-up to face Super Rugby defending champions the Highlanders, keeping captain Nic Stirzaker in the reserves.

Stirzaker made his first appearance of the year with some late game-time in their win over the Sunwolves last round but didn't do enough to dislodge Meehan for the AAMI Park match on Saturday night.

Meehan has made the most of his opportunities, scoring a try in the 35-9 victory in Tokyo which was his third for the season to lead his team's try-scoring tally.

Sean McMahon has retained the captaincy, which he took over in Stirzaker's initial absence due to shoulder surgery.

James Hanson returns to the starting line-up at hooker for Pat Leafa while exciting utility back Reece Hodge has been included on the bench after overcoming a quad injury.

Rebels: Jonah Placid, Dom Shipperley, Tamati Ellison, Mitch Inman, Tom English, Jack Debreczeni, Ben Meehan, Adam Thomson, Sean McMahon (captain), Jordy Reid, Lopeti Timani, Luke Jones, Laurie Weeks, James Hanson, Toby Smith. Reserves: Pat Leafa, Cruze Ah Nau, Jamie Hagan, Sam Jeffries, Scott Fuglistaller, Nic Stirzaker, Dan Hawkins, Reece Hodge.