Code-hopping winger Marika Koroibete has been named in the Rebels’ Brisbane Tens squad but the former NRL player is no certainty to line up in the tournament.
Koroibete has been battling a knee injury and was included in their 26-man list, with a caveat around his fitness.
Even if Koroibete fails to pull up for the clash, the Rebels will have plenty of star power, with his future wing partner Sefa Naivalu looming as a key weapon in the truncated rugby format.
Fellow Wallabies Reece Hodge, Lopeti Timani and James Hanson have been included in the squad, with Sean McMahon (ankle) the only Test player to miss out.
An ACL rupture for ex-Sevens star Pama Fou has ruled him out 2017, let alone the Tens tournament, while Alex Toolis (neck) and Sam Jeffries (foot) are also injured.
Rebels coach Tony McGahan said he felt the group had a good balance.
“We feel there’s a good mix of experience and youth in the squad so it’s a good opportunity for the senior players to continue their work with integrating the new recruits in a competitive environment,” McGahan said.
“The Brisbane Tens will give us a quality hit out ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season and an opportunity for the players to put their hands up ahead of the opening round against the Blues."
Former Wallabies centre and Rebels attack coach Morgan Turinui has been included as the team’s wildcard, bringing that element in every sense of the word.
Turinui has been training with the Melbourne backline through pre-season to help their new recruits.
Rebels fans will also have a look at new recruits Ben Volavola, Amanaki Mafi, Murray Douglas, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Tyrel Lomax and Jack Maddocks as well.
The Rebels take on the Chiefs, Panasonic Wild Knights and Waratahs in their Tens pool.
Rebels 26-man squad for Brisbane Tens
Cruze Ah-Nau, Steve Cummins, Jack Debreczeni, Murray Douglas, Tom English, Colby Fainga’a, Jackson Garden-Bachop, James Hanson, Reece Hodge, Mitch Inman, Marika Koroibete*, Pat Leafa, Tyrel Lomax, Jack Maddocks, Amanaki Mafi, Ben Meehan, Sefa Naivalu, Jordy Reid, Culum Retallick, Toby Smith, Nic Stirzaker (captain), Lopeti Timani, Sione Tuipulotu, Morgan Turinui (wildcard), Ben Volavola, Laurie Weeks
*subject to fitness