The Melbourne Rebels have named a strong team to travel to Perth to face the Western Force in their World Series clash on Saturday night at nib Stadium.
An experienced pack features the likes of veteran Wallaby hooker Nathan Charles, locks Matt Philip and Sam Jeffries, a backrow of Angus Cottrell, Ross Haylett-Petty and Richard Hardwick, while Billy Meakes and captain Tom English fill the midfield in a new look backline.
The invitational tournament has also given starting opportunities to Tom Moloney, Pone Fa’amausili, Tayler Adams, Harrison Goddard, Henry Hutchison and Kiti Ratu.
Experienced flyhalf Jack Debreczeni returns for his first start in four weeks and will line up at fullback.
Prop Jermaine Ainsley and scrumhalf Michael Ruru – who both started in the Rebels recent away win against the Blues in Auckland – are also included on the bench.
In addition, the Rebels welcome Shute Shield stars Matt Gibbons, Nick Champion de Crespigny, Rohan O’Regan and Jack Johnson, as well as 2018 Melbourne Rebels Brisbane 10s squad member Andrew Tuala – all will start among the reserves.
Coach Dave Wessels will share the reigns of coaching responsibilities with former England and British and Irish Lions international, Geoff Parling
Melbourne Rebels Head Coach, Dave Wessels said: “We are really looking forward to a special night.”
“I know many of the players and I are excited about returning to Perth to play in front of family and against many old friends.
“We’ll certainly be trying to do our part to put on an exciting game. It promises to be a night to remember.’
World Series Rugby, Match 3
Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels
Saturday 9 June, 2018
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick off: 8.00pm (WST), 10.00pm (AEST)
Melbourne Rebels team vs Force on Saturday 9 June, 2018 at Perth, Australia:
1. Tom Moloney
2. Nathan Charles
3. Pone Fa’amausili
4. Sam Jeffries
5. Matt Philip
6. Ross Haylett–Petty
7. Richard Hardwick
8. Angus Cottrell
9. Harrison Goddard
10. Tayler Adams
11. Henry Hutchinson
12. Billy Meakes
13. Tom English (capt.)
14. Kiti Ratu
15. Jack Debreczeni
16. Matt Gibbons
17. Andrew Tuala
18. Jermaine Ainsley
19. Nick Champion de Crespigny
20. Rohan O’Regan
21. Jack Johnson
22. Michael Ruru
23. Hunter Paisami
24. Jack McGregor
Coaches: Dave Wessels and Geoff Parling