McGahan swings the axe for Chiefs clash

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Tony McGahan has made four changes to his starting XV in response to an abysmal start to 2017.

The Rebels were bitten by the injury bug pre-season and they are starting to receive back-up in the form of injured regulars Sefa Naivalu, Laurie Weeks as well as young prop Fereti Sa'aga and seasoned veteran Culum Retallick.

Naivalu missed the Rebels' first two starts with a leg infection, though he may not have had much of an impact in their two losses given the backs have had little to no clean ball.Marika Koroibete geats his second start for the Rebels. Photo: Getty ImagesThe inclusions of Sa'aga and Retallick are a move by McGahan to address that, with the prop coming in as a straight swap for Cruze Ah-Nau and the veteran second rower replacing Lopeti Timani, who has suffered a knee injury.

Harlequins recruit Murray Douglas is also set to debut, as he has been named on the bench.

Marika Koroibete gets the nod for his second start in Rebels colours, with McGahan listing Sean McMahon as four weeks away and Toby Smith six to seven weeks from playing.

The Rebels host the Chiefs on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on RUGBY.com.au.

TEAM

IN: Fereti Sa'aga, Murray Douglas, Sefa Naivalu

OUT: Lopeti Timani (knee), Tom Moloney, Mitch Inman

Melbourne Rebels team to take on the Chiefs

1. Fereti Sa’aga

2. James Hanson

3. Laurie Weeks

4. Culum Retallick

5. Steve Cummins

6. Jordy Reid

7. Colby Fainga’a

8. Amanaki Mafi

9. Nic Stirzaker (Captain)

10. Jackson Garden-Bachop

11. Marika Koroibete

12. Reece Hodge

13. Tom English

14. Sefa Naivalu

15. Jack Debreczeni

Reserves

16. Pat Leafa

17. Cruze Ah-Nau

18. Tyrel Lomax

19. Murray Douglas

20. Jake Schatz

21. Ben Meehan

22. Sione Tuipulotu

23. Ben Volavola

Chiefs team to face the Rebels

1. Kane Hames

2. Sabastian Siataga

3. Nepo Laulala

4. Dominic Bird

5. Brodie Retallick

6. Tom Sanders

7. Sam Cane

8. Liam Messam

9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow

10. Damian McKenzie

11. Solomin Alaimalo

12. Stephen Donald

13. Anton Lienert-Brown

14. Toni Pulu

15. Shaun Stevenson

Reserves 

16. Hika Elliot

17. Siegfried Fisi'ihoi

18. Atu Moli

19. Mitchell Brown

20. Mitchell Karpik

21. Finlay Christie

22. Aaron Cruden

23. Johnny Faauli.

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