Rebels boss Tony McGahan has made two changes to his starting XV for Friday's clash with the Reds in Brisbane.
Wallaby back-row Sean McMahon and All Black centre Tamati Ellison are injected straight into the starting line-up after each missing last week’s 42-22 win against the Blues with minor injuries, while Wallaby tighthead prop Laurie Weeks is named on the bench after recovering from a knee injury sustained in Round Seven against the Hurricanes in Wellington.
McGahan is pleased to welcome back the trio.
“Sean, Tamati and Laurie are all important members of our squad and each of them bring unique Rugby experience and great enthusiasm,” he said.
“Sean and Tamati could have played last week at a stretch, but their bodies are better for the break, while Laurie has worked very hard to return ahead of schedule and that’ll be a big boost to the group.”
McGahan said that with just one player unavailable for selection this week, some difficult decisions had to be made prior to naming the side.
“When you look at the calibre of players outside of the starting side and outside of the matchday squad, it’s a real sign of the depth we’ve developed at the Rebels,” he explained.
“What that means is that each and every one of the guys named to play has to be accountable to their own role, against what will be a very strong Queensland side with a lot of international and Super Rugby experience.
“The whole team are excited to travel to Brisbane together and work hard to secure a positive result.”
Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Sefanaia Naivalu, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Jordy Reid, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Laurie Weeks, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Tom English.
Date: Friday, 15 May
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19:40 local (9:40 GMT, 21:40 NZST, 11:40 SAST)
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant Referees: James Leckie, Michael Hogan (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith