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By Rebels Media Unit
The Melbourne Rebels have named their team as they host the NSW Waratahs in Albury in their first trial match of the 2014 pre-season.
With temperatures predicted to soar over 40 degrees, the match will be played in quarters and will feature nearly the entire Rebels squad, as well as two trialists.
The squad has been put through its toughest off season ever under new Head Coach Tony McGahan, while Japanese International Shota Horie and All Black Tamati Ellison are still yet to join the squad following their Club commitments in Japan.
Highlights of the squad include the return of 2014 Wallaby aspirants Scott Higginbotham and Hugh Pyle from shoulder surgery, as well nine contracted Rebels being selected to make their debut. Luke Burgess, Tom Kingston and Lopeti Timani will all feature against their old side for the first time in a Rebels jersey.
1st Quarter: Tom Kingston, Alex Rokobaro, Lalakai Foketi, Lachlan Mitchell, Joe Kamana, Angus Roberts, Luke Burgess; Scott Higginbotham (C), Jordy Reid, Sean McMahon, Lopeti Timani, Luke Jones, Laurie Weeks, Steve Foulau, Max Lahiff.
2nd Quarter: Tom Kingston, Alex Rokobaro, Lachlan Mitchell, Lalakai Foketi, Joe Kamana, Angus Roberts, Ben Meehan; Scott Higginbotham (C), Jordy Reid, Sean McMahon, Lopeti Timani, Luke Jones, Cruze Ah-Nau, Steve Foulau, Eddie Aholelei
3rd Quarter: Jason Woodward, Tom Kingston, Tom English, Mitch Inman, Telusa Veainu, Bryce Hegarty, Nic Stirzaker; Lopeti Timani, Scott Fuglistaller, Colby Fainga'a, Luke Jones, Hugh Pyle, Paul Alo-Emile, Pat Leafa, Toby Smith
4th Quarter: Jason Woodward, Tom Kingston, Tom English, Mitch Inman, Telusa Veainu, Bryce Hegarty, Nic Stirzaker; Colby Fainga'a, Scott Fuglistaller, Sean McMahon, Luke Jones, Hugh Pyle, Paul Alo-Emile, Pat Leafa, Toby Smith
The Western Force return to NIB Stadium for the second time this season and the Honey Badger wants sea of blue fans to “get your carcass on the chair”! In 2014 the Force had a slow start to the season, before finishing off strongly, and they will be hoping for a repeat after winning just one of their opening four matches this season!
The Queensland Reds are struggling with injury and form at present, and they’ve been handed another massive blow this weekend with James O’Connor (leg) & Lachie Turner (concussion) being ruled out. Suffering a 23-5 loss to the NSW Waratahs on the weekend, the Reds will run onto Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night looking to turn their season around after just one win to their name in the opening four rounds coming against the Western Force two weeks ago!