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Rebels rush returning Top League fullback into the side to bolster strength ahead of clash against the Hurricanes

(Joe Allison /

The Melbourne Rebels have rung the changes for Friday night’s clash with the Hurricanes in a bid to make up for their round-one flop in the Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition.


The Rebels were thrashed 50-3 by the Blues in Melbourne last week and interim coach Kevin Foote has been quick to react to that heavy defeat.

Winger Andrew Kellaway has been rushed straight into the starting side after signing with the Rebels for the remainder of the Trans-Tasman competition following his stint with Japanese side NEC Green Rockets.

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Wallabies squad member Trevor Hosea has been selected at right lock while No.8 Isi Naisarani returns to the starting side after serving his three-match ban.

Joe Powell has a new partner at the halves with Carter Gordon’s impressive run of form earning him a promotion at starting flyhalf.

Captain Matt To’omua has shifted to inside centre to accommodate Gordon’s inclusion.

George Worth has been named at fullback for the match at Sky Stadium.

“We are really pumped to have two great players coming back into our pack in Trevor and Isi, who are both very physical and keen to get back after suspension while Kellaway brings experience and a very balanced game to our back three,” Foote said.

“With a short turnaround and travel we have really come into the week with a great focus and energy to be better.


“We know that our set piece and exits were not up to scratch and our defence means more to us than what was presented last week, and we’re looking forward to Friday night.”

Friday night’s contest will be the Rebels first of three straight road games and is the first match the team has played in New Zealand in 448 days.

Rebels: George Worth, Andrew Kellaway, Campbell Magnay, Matt To’omua, Marika Koroibete, Carter Gordon, Joe Powell, Isi Naisarani, Joshua Kemeny, Michael Wells, Trevor Hosea, Robert Leota, Cabous Eloff, Jordan Uelese, Cameron Orr. Res: James Hanson, Matt Gibbon, Lucio Sordoni, Ross Haylett-Petty, Richard Hardwick, James Tuttle, Stacey Ili, Frank Lomani.


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