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Super W: Rebels rejig team for Reds clash

Super W
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Melbourne Rebels have reshuffled their side for this Saturday's clash with the Reds at Suncorp Stadium.

Co-captain Meretiana Robinson is the first domino to fall, shifting to 12 as Tayler Savage steps up into the starting flyhalf role for the Rebels.

Last week's fullback Mikaela Welti has been shifted to the wing, combining with Tyra Boysen on the edge and Gabi Bryan moves to 15.

Meretiana Robinson will play at 12 on the weekend. Photo: Getty ImagesIn the pack, Eirenei Nanai will move into the starting hooker spot and Peni Seu goes to the bench.

While the Rebels have never taken a win in Super W, the women fell just three points short of the Brumbies in Ballarat last weekend, in one of their best performances in Super W history.

Rebels coach Alana Thomas said that game showed glimpses of her team's potential.

“The improvement has not surprised me,” she said.

“We have been training since November and have been aware that this team is capable of performing in the Super W competition.

“Whereas our history suggests that the results have been a shock, internally we all know we’re going to be challenging our opposition.”

Alana Thomas is pleased with her side's development. Photo: Getty ImagesThomas said her side could improve when it comes to the critical junctures within a game.

“I think the biggest lesson was having the belief in our ability and that we didn’t deal well with the big moments in the game," she said.

“Sometimes you need to experience a close loss to be able to win the next close encounter.

“We did make a number of errors in the game and that really hurt us in the end.

“This week we have gone back and focused on the execution of our core skills, as they did let us down on the weekend.”

The Rebels women take on the Reds at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 3:35pm local, 4:35pm AEDT, LIVE on RUGBY.com.au, Foxtel and Kayo Sports. The Reds men take on the Sharks in a Super Rugby clash later in the day, kicking off at 6:15pm local, 7:15pm AEDT, LIVE on Foxtel, Kayo Sports and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.

TEAM

Rebels to face Reds

1. Janita Kareta

2. Erienei Nanai

3. Titilia Yabaki

4. Annika Jamieson

5. Nawel Remini

6. May Sa’aga

7. Melanie Kawa ©

8. Sally Kehoe

9. Georgia Cormick

10. Tayler Savage

11. Mikaela Welti

12. Meretiana Robinson ©

13. Nicola Emsley

14. Tyra Boysen-Auimatagi

15. Gabi Bryan

Reserves

16.  Faith Masina

17. Lemamau (Peni) Seu

18. Piper Tuifao

19. Brooke Saunders

20. Norma Fuaiva’a

21. Jessica Campbell

22. Kristina Sa’aga

23. Georgina (Rosita) Utia