Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has re-introduced Sam Jeffries and Dom Shipperley into the squad, as he named his teams to face the Waratahs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday in a clash which will commemorate the centenary of the ANZAC landing.
Wallaby Shipperley returns to the starting line-up, while his Melbourne Uni team-mate in second rower Jeffries replaces Luke Jones in the squad, with Cadeyrn Neville elevated to start. Jones developed concussion symptoms after the win in Canberra against the Brumbies last weekend, and the Rebels have opted to leave him out of the team as a precautionary method.
McGahan said that it was pleasing to be able to draw upon players with match fitness and form when changes were made.
“Dom and Sam both had the opportunity to play 80 minutes for Melbourne Uni again last weekend, so they both come in ready to go,” McGahan said.
“In Dom’s case, it was his first game back from a hand injury; he almost played the week earlier, so he has a good couple of weeks of training and then that match under his belt.
“Dom is ready to go, and that’s a real positive for the team after he made such an impact in his first five matches for the Rebels.”
McGahan was confident that Neville would use his size to have a big impact, both around the field and at the set piece.
“Cadeyrn is very experienced, and has been working hard to get a chance to start,” Tony said.
“He will be determined to play well, and like many of our players who have sacrificed a lot to move to Melbourne and join the Rebels from Sydney, he’ll have the chance to play in front of friends and family.”
The Rebels will depart for Sydney on Friday.
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 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Jordy Reid, 23 Bryce Hegarty
Date: Saturday, April 25
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19:55 local (09:55 GMT, 21:55 NZST, 11:55 SAST)
Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)
Assistant Referees: James Leckie (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)