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Wallabies duo return as Melbourne Rebels name team for Highlanders clash

By Finn Morton
Andrew Kellaway of the Rebels runs with the ball during the round one Super Rugby Pacific match between Melbourne Rebels and ACT Brumbies at AAMI Park, on February 23, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Wallabies Andrew Kellaway and Josh Kemeny are back for the Rebels this weekend as the Melburnians look to make it three wins on the bounce when they host the Highlanders on Saturday.

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Kellaway, 28, returns to the Rebels’ starting side for the first time since the round five defeat to the Hurricanes in Palmerston North. In that match, the Wallaby was replaced by Mason Gordon at half-time due to an injury.

The fullback joins former Australian SVNS star Darby Lancaster and flyer Lachie Anderson in a talented outside backs combination, while David Feilaui and Filipo Daugunu will line up in the halves.

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Ryan Louwrens and Carter Gordon will continue to work on their halves combination which is developing into something really special at Super Rugby Pacific level.

As for the forwards, the return of Josh Kemeny is the big talking point. Kemeny, who has played two Tests for Australia, hasn’t featured at this level since the round four defeat to the Rebels at Melbourne’s AMMI Park.

Kemeny joins Maciu Nabolakasi and Vaiolinil Ekuasi in an impressive backrow trio. Tuaina Taii Tualima and Lukhan-Salakia-Loto will link up in the second row.

Working our way backward here, so finishing with the front row, Matt Gibbon, Jordan Uelese and Sam Talakai will pack down at the front of the scrum.

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Wallaby Taniela Tupou has been named on the bench once again.

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
3
Draws
0
Wins
2
Average Points scored
30
29
First try wins
60%
Home team wins
80%

This clash at AAMI Park will kick off at 7:35 pm AEST on Saturday evening.

Melbourne Rebels team to take on Highlanders

  1. Matt Gibbon
  2. Jordan Uelese
  3. Sam Talakai
  4. Tuaina Taii Tualima
  5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
  6. Josh Kemeny
  7. Maciu Nabolakasi
  8. Vaiolinil Ekuasi
  9. Ryan Louwrens
  10. Carter Gordon
  11. Darby Lancaster
  12. David Feilaui
  13. Filipo Daugunu
  14. Lachie Anderson
  15. Andrew Kellaway

Replacements

  1. Alex Mafi
  2. Isaac Kailea
  3. Taniela Tupou
  4. Angelo Smith
  5. Daniel Maiava
  6. Jack Maunder
  7. Matt Proctor
  8. Nick Jooste
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J
Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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