Rebels desperate to break South African duck

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

They've seen badly needed rain in Cape Town and now the Melbourne Rebels are trying to end their own South African Super Rugby drought against the Stormers.

Both sides have lost their past three games but the Rebels have never won in 14 matches in the republic.

Their prospects for Friday's clash were boosted when lock and captain Adam Coleman was cleared to play after suffering a head knock in last week's loss to the Bulls.

"To have Adsy back is great for the team," Rebels coach Dave Wessels said.

"He's actually trained very well this week."Adam Coleman is ready to roll against the Stormers. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyWallabies forwards Lopeti Timani and Jermaine Ainsley return to the Rebels' starting side.

In the backs, the absence of Dane Haylett-Petty has caused a reshuffle, with Tom English shifted to the wing and Jack Maddocks to fullback and Bill Meakes recalled to the centres.

Dane and Ross Haylett-Petty could be right for next week's clash with the Crusaders in Melbourne but hooker Jordan Uelese is expected to be sidelined for four weeks with an arm injury and backrower Richard Hardwick out for about eight weeks with a knee problem.

Wessels remains optimistic the Rebels can finally win in his country of birth.

"I think if we can play with similar intensity to the way that we did in Pretoria (against the Bulls) and hopefully get a bit more luck... then I think we give ourselves a good chance," he said.Dave Wessels is confident the Rebels can break their duck in South Africa tomorrow night. Photo: Getty Images"The Stormers have got the second-most line breaks in the comp and we've scored the third-most tries so both the teams like to attack.

"The Stormers tend to grow another leg when they are at Newlands as well.

"They played the last three games away from home so for them playing at home will be a big boost."

Wessels said the Cape Town water crisis was very real, noting lawns he remembered as green were now a dust bowl.

"But fortunately we've brought a bit of luck to the city. There's been two or three days of rain since we've got here," Wessels said.

The Rebels tackle the Stormers in Cape Town on Friday night, kicking off at 11pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.