Hodge cleared for Bulls match

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Reece Hodge will start at inside centre for the Rebels, shaking off a hamstring injury to place the Bulls.

As expected, Michael Ruru has been handed the halfback spot in Will Genia's absence, with Junior Wallabies scrumhalf Harrison Goddard on the bench.

Billy Meakes drops back to the bench with Hodge's comeback, while Angus Cottrell and Matt Philip have been promoted to the starting side, after playing off the bench against the Jaguares. 

Jack Debreczeni is set to face Beauden Barrett on Friday night. Photo: Getty ImagesFlyhalf Jack Debreczeni will play his 50th Super Rugby and Rebels match in the clash.

Rebels coach Dave Wessels said the match would be a big test for the Rebels, who have never won in South Africa.

"The Rebels have never won in South Africa, but to change that we’re going to have to play well against a very good Bulls team,” Wessels said.

“It’s exciting for guys like Michael (Ruru) and Harrison (Goddard); they have a great opportunity to impose themselves on the Super Rugby competition.

“The Bulls have played very well in the last few weeks and they’re obviously well-coached. We know that we’re going to have to be at our best.”

The Bulls host the Rebels on Saturday in Pretoria, kicking off at 3:05pm local, 11:05pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

TEAM

IN: Reece Hodge, Harrison Goddard, Fereti Saaga, Angus Cottrell 

OUT: Will Genia, Ben Daley, Colby Faingaa, Lopeti Timani

Rebels to face the Bulls

1. Tetera Faulkner

2. Anaru Rangi

3. Sam Talakai

4. Matt Philip

5. Adam Coleman (C)

6. Ross Haylett-Petty

7. Angus Cottrell

8. Amanaki Mafi

9. Michael Ruru

10. Jack Debreczeni

11. Marika Koroibete

12. Reece Hodge

13. Tom English

14. Jack Maddocks

15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Reserves

16. Jordan Uelese

17. Fereti Sa’aga

18. Jermaine Ainsley

19. Geoff Parling

20. Richard Hardwick

21. Harrison Goddard

22. Billy Meakes

23. Sefa Naivalu