Rebels stick with winning formula

Super Rugby
Chris Ford Profile
by Chris Ford

The Melbourne Rebels have named an unchanged line-up for the first time this season, with captain Nic Stirzaker shaking off a head knock to face the Hurricanes on Friday.

The Rebels scrumhalf was forced off the field a fortnight ago during Melbourne’s first-ever victory over the Waratahs in Sydney.

"Stability in a team is important for consistency and the extra week of rest has allowed us to pick an unchanged side for the Hurricanes," Rebels coach Tony McGahan said.

"The win against the Waratahs before the bye was huge for the club but we need to capitalise on the result with another spirited performance against the Hurricanes to kick off an important three weeks for the Rebels."

Sefa Naivalu continues his return from a broken leg with a spot on the bench, while flanker Scott Fuglistaller has been named as a reserve and will record his 50th Super Rugby appearance should he take the field at AAMI Park. 

The Rebels have only won one of their four clashes with the Hurricanes, that coming back in 2011, with the Wellington-based franchise coming out on top the last time they met at AAMI Park.

Last year’s finalists have been prolific in attack of late, scoring 40 points or more in each of their last three games and even more worryingly for the Rebels is that bulldozing winger Julian Savea is back in form after three tries against the Jaguares last weekend. 

The Rebels take on the Hurricanes at 7.45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS. 

Team 

1. Toby Smith

2. James Hanson

3. Laurie Weeks

4. Luke Jones

5. Lopeti Timani 

6. Jordy Reid

7. Sean McMahon

8. Adam Thomson

9. Nic Stirzaker (captain)

10. Jack Debreczeni

11. Cam Crawford

12. Mitch Inman

13. Tamati Ellison

14. Dom Shipperley

15. Reece Hodge

Reserves

16. Pat Leafa

17. Cruze Ah Nau

18. Jamie Hagan

19. Sam Jeffries

20. Scott Fuglistaller

21. Ben Meehan

22. Dan Hawkins

23. Sefa Naivalu

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