Melbourne Rebels Team Announcement for Round 1 against Reds

Wed, Feb 16, 2022, 6:11 AM

Melbourne Rebels Head Coach Kevin Foote has named his side for the Rebels’ opening match of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season against the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium.

Queenslander Sam Wallis will make his starting Super Rugby debut after being named at left flanker following an outstanding pre-season campaign after arriving at the Club in October.

Wallis will be joined by Sef Fa’agase, Tamati Ioane and Ray Nu’u, who will all make their Melbourne Rebels debut on Saturday night.

Melbourne Rebels Head Coach Kevin Foote said:

“I’m really excited for Sam,” said Foote.

“The way he’s worked hard all year and pushed himself all pre-season, I’m super pumped for him to go back to Brisbane and make his Super Rugby debut.

“It’s also great to have young guys like Carter Gordon and Glen Vaihu who are forcing their ways into the starting teams and cementing their spots in there, it’s awesome to see.

“We’re excited to have Tamati Ionae come off the bench – he’s a very powerful runner – so we’re looking forward to seeing how he goes and what damage he’ll do.”

Wallis will be joined in the backrow by Brad Wilkin and Michael Wells, who will lead the Rebels out for the first time since being elected as Club Captain.

Meanwhile, Cameron Orr will look to build on last year’s Wallabies’ squad selection, named at loosehead prop alongside Jordan Uelese and Cabous Eloff.

Veteran right lock Ross Haylett-Petty has been selected in the second row alongside Vice-Captain Matt Philip, who is set to play his first game for the Rebels since 2020, after re-joining the Club following a year playing overseas in France.

Joe Powell will make his 14th consecutive start at scrumhalf for the Rebels, where the twenty-six-year-old will be joined by the exciting Carter Gordon at flyhalf.

Gordon will play his first Super Rugby match in his hometown following a breakout Trans-Tasman campaign last year in which the twenty-one-year-old started four of the Rebels’ final five matches.

The experienced Matt To’omua will look to continue strengthening his partnership with Stacey Ili at centre, while the back three sees the dashing Lachie Anderson and Glen Vaihu named on the wings, with Reece Hodge selected at full-back.

Following his impressive showing against Fijian Drua, Matt Gibbon will be called upon as a forward replacement alongside James Hanson, Sef Fa’agase, Thomas Nowlan and Tamati Ioane, while James Tuttle, Raymond Nu’u and Young Tonumaipea will provide late game firepower for the backs.

Wallabies’ trio Rob Leota, Andrew Kellaway, and Pone Fa'amausili will be unavailable for the season opener but will be pushing for selection in the coming weeks. Lock Trevor Hosea will unfortunately be sidelined for the next three-months following a footinjury.

The Melbourne Rebels face the Queensland Reds this Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:45 PM AEDT.

Melbourne Rebels vs Queensland Reds 7:45 PM (AEDT) with the clash to be shown live and on demand on Stan Spots and 9 Gem.

Reb

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