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Kellaway to make season debut as Rebels travel to Suva

By AAP
Andrew Kellaway at media day for the Rebels. Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images for Bursty PR

The first Australian side to play a Super Rugby Pacific game in Fiji, Melbourne have welcomed back Wallabies pair Reece Hodge and Andrew Kellaway from injury.

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Reece Hodge has been rushed back into the Melbourne line-up to tackle Fijian Drua in Suva, while fellow Wallabies back Andrew Kellaway will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby Pacific season.

Hodge was expected to miss up to four games with a gruesome finger injury but only sat out last round’s win over Queensland, while Kellaway hasn’t played since fracturing his foot on Australia’s European tour last spring.

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Saturday’s return is timely for the pair, with new Wallabies coach Eddie Jones set to name his first World Cup training squad on Sunday.

Chasing their third victory in four games, the Rebels are looking for successive wins for the first time this season.

Hodge will line up at outside centre alongside in-form Kiwi Stacey Ili, while Kellaway will make his return via the bench with Melbourne’s back three fit and firing.

Coach Kevin Foote made one change to his starting pack, with lock Josh Canham returning for his first game since their round-three win over the NSW Waratahs.

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Foote said his side were excited about the opportunity to play in Fiji as they looked to bed down a maiden finals berth.

“Every game is of great importance to us as we’re desperate to play finals,” Foote said.

“Going into Fiji is going to be a great challenge – we saw the Crusaders go down to them a couple of weeks ago, so we know what the Drua are going to bring.

“We have a really clear game plan on how we’re going to play against them.”

Rebels: Matt Gibbon, Alex Mafi, Sam Talakai, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Josh Canham, Josh Kemeny, Brad Wilkin, Vaiolini Ekuasi, Ryan Louwrens, Carter Gordon, Monty Ioane, Stacey Ili, Reece Hodge, Lachie Anderson, Joe Pincus. Res: Jordan Uelese, Cabous Eloff, Pone Faamausili, Angelo Smith, Daniel Maiava, James Tuttle, David Feliuai, Andrew Kellaway.

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