McMahon to captain Rebels in trial


Wallabies backrower Sean McMahon will return to the Melbourne Rebels on Thursday night, captaining the side to face Samoa at AAMI Park.

McMahon is one of a handful of experienced players returning to the team for the first time in 2016, along with former All Black Adam Thomson, in a 27-man squad.

Thomson joined the Rebels from the Reds at the end of the 2015 season and will line up in his new colours for the first time.

Lopeti Timani and Tamati Ellison will also return to the side, while new recruit James Hanson has been included in the side again.

The Rebels will be looking to finish their preseason on a high, after an opening loss to the Blues a fortnight ago.

Rebels coach Tony McGahan said the Rebels will be a critical opportunity ahead of their round one match against the Force.

“We expect nothing less than a big, fast and powerful Samoan team to provide us a real physical test heading into the start of the season,” he said.

“The trial against Samoa gives us an important opportunity to give competitive minutes to those players returning from stints on the sideline and a chance to put into practice our learnings from the Blues trial.”

The Rebels take on Samoa on Thursday night at AAMI Park, kicking off at 6:30pm.

Rebels squad for trial v Samoa:

Forwards: Cruze Ah Nau, Ryan Cocker, Steve Cummins, Colby Fainga’a, Scott Fuglistaller, James Hanson, Luke Jones, Pat Leafa, Sean McMahon (captain), Jordy Reid, Culum Retallick, Siliva Siliva, Toby Smith, Adam Thomson, Lopeti Timani, Laurie Weeks.

Backs: Jack Debreczeni, Tamati Ellison, Tom English, Mike Harris, Dan Hawkins, Reece Hodge, Mitch Inman, Ben Meehan, Jonah Placid, Dom Shipperley, Mick Snowden.