Rebels go strong for Reds trial

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Melbourne Rebels have matched fire with fire by naming a full strength team for tomorrow night's trial against the Queensland Reds at Ballymore.

After narrowly missing out on the Quarter Finals at the Brisbane Tens, coach Tony McGahan has named all of his available Wallabies in the starting side among the 26-man squad.

The Rebels' standard of play lifted at the Tens after a sloppy 27-5 trial loss to the Western Force at Bond University last Monday.Jordy Reid will come off the bench in tomorrow night's trial. Photo: WalmsleyMcGahan will be hoping it lifts another notch when they take on a full strength Reds team tomorrow night.

At flyhalf, where McGahan has been faced with the dilemma of starting Jackson Garden-Bachop and Jack Debreczeni, the brains trust have opted for the former.

Ben Meehan will come off the bench behind skipper Nic Stirzaker. Jordy Reid will come off the bench in tomorrow night's trial. Photo: WalmsleyMcGahan told after the first trial that he did not get a chance to see Garden-Bachop with much front foot ball, which may have contributed to the decision.

There is still no sign of Marika Koroibete, who is in a race against the clock to be fit for the Rebels' Super Rugby opener against the Blues at AAMI Park next Thursday after suffering a knee ligament injury at training.

Wallabies James Hanson, Toby Smith and Reece Hodge as well as Colby Fainga'a will have their first chance to play extended minutes after being rested in the Force trial.

Melbourne Rebels Team for Trial v Queensland Reds:

1. Toby Smith
2. James Hanson
3. Laurie Weeks
4. Culum Retallick
5. Steve Cummins
6. Lopeti Timani
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Amanaki Mafi
9. Nic Stirzaker
10. Jackson Garden-Bachop
11. Jonah Placid
12. Reece Hodge
13. Tom English
14. Sefa Naivalu
15. Jack Maddocks
16. Jordan Uelese
17. Cruze Ah-Nau
18. Tyrel Lomax
19. Murray Douglas
20. Jordy Reid
21. Ben Meehan
22. Sione Tuipulotu
23. Jack Debreczeni
24. Jake Schatz
25. Dennis Pili-Gaitau
26. Ben Volavola