CAPE TOWN – Melbourne Rebels skipper Adam Coleman will line up in the second row, as the Rebels make three changes to their starting XV to tackle the Stormers in Cape Town on Friday.
Coleman shrugged off any injury concerns after being substituted at halftime in the loss to Bulls last weekend.
Lopeti Timani comes onto the flank for Ross Haylett-Petty, while Billy Meakes returns to the centres to replace the injured, Dane Haylett-Petty. Jack Maddocks will start at fullback, and Tom English on the wing.
Wallabies front-rower Jermaine Ainsley makes his first start since the Hurricanes match in March in a direct swap with Sam Talakai, who is in line to make his 50th Super Rugby appearance this Friday.
Across the bench, 20-year-old front-rower Sama Malolo is set to make his Super Rugby debut, while flanker Colby Fainga’a and outside back Semisi Tupou round out the inclusions.
Melbourne Rebels Wessels said: “It’s great to have LT (Timani), Jermaine and Billy back in the team – aside from Aranu Rangi (who has been fantastic) it’s the pack that we started our campaign with. We know there’s a fair bit of cohesion in that group and that will be important on Friday night.”
“The Stormers are a quality outfit and a particularly dangerous prospect in front of their Cape Town crowd. It’s a wonderful challenge for our players and we’re excited for Friday.”
The Rebels team is:
1 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Anaru Rangi, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 4 Matt Philip, 5 Adam Coleman (C), 6 Lopeti Timani, 7 Angus Cottrell, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 9 Michael Ruru, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 11 Marika Koroibete, 12 Billy Meakes, 13 Reece Hodge, 14 Tom English, 15 Jack Maddocks
Replacements: 16 Sama Malolo, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Semisi Tupou, 23 Sefa Naivalu
African News Agency (ANA)