Rebels coach Damien Hill has retained the same matchday 22 for Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Brumbies at AAMI Park.
Melbourne Rebels coach Damien Hill has retained the same matchday 22 for Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Brumbies at AAMI Park.
The Rebels are coming off a 30-23 win over the Western Force and will be aiming for back-to-back wins when they host the Brumbies, who also opened their 2013 campaign with a victory against the Reds.
Hill, however, has warned his team to prepare for a ferocious battle at the breakdown where the Brumbies matched an aggressive Reds onslaught.
“The Brumbies are a completely different unit to the one we beat in our inaugural season,” said Hill.
“We are going to have to improve on last week's performance, because this Brumbies side is definitely a step up.
“They will be one of the best sides at the breakdown this season and that will be our primary focus going into the match.”
Rebels skipper Gareth Delve has also demanded a better performance from his troops, after they were forced to fight their way back against the Force having trailed 11-0 at one stage of the match.
“We are certainly happy with four points, but a few heads were down afterwards,” said Delve. “However it does show where we have set our standards this year.
“There were a couple of things we got right over the pre-season that we didn't back up.”
Melbourne Rebels: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Richard Kingi, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nic Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo Emile, 18 Cadeyrn Neville, 19 Jarrod Saffy, 20 Nick Stirzaker, 21 Alex Rokobaro, 22 Tom English.
Date: Friday, 22 February
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19:40 (08:40 GMT)
Referee: James Leckie (Australia)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Ian Smith (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)