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REBELS V REDS (Friday, 11:05, New South Wales)
In the only change to the Rebels starting lineup, centre Reece Hodge has been relegated to the bench for their match against the Reds in Sydney on Friday.
Having battled a mysterious migraine problem throughout Super Rugby earlier this year, Campbell Magnay has finally been medically cleared to return and comes straight into the Rebels team for the first time this season.
He replaces Reece Hodge at outside centre, with the Wallaby back taking position on the bench at the expense of Andrew Deegan, who has been dropped altogether.
Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (c), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Michael Stolberg, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Pone Fa’amausili, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Subs: 16 Efitusi Maafu, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Trevor Hosea, 20 Esei Haangana, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Reece Hodge.
Reds coach Brad Thorn has named an unchanged side for their Super Rugby AU clash with the Rebels in Sydney on Friday.
Lock Angus Blyth was the only player under an injury cloud after sustaining a head knock last weekend but he has been cleared to retain his place in the starting XV.
The Reds ground out a 32-26 win over the Waratahs last week and Thorn said they were preparing for another tough challenge against the Rebels in round two of the competition.
‘This is game two for us and we’re focused on improving our game and knowing we’ve got a really tough opposition, he said.
‘We’ve got a lot of respect for the Rebels. They’re a really good defensive side – good linespeed. Smart man at 10 there with [Matt] To’omua. They’ve got a good set piece – they’ve really stepped up in their scrummaging, good lineout.
‘It was a good hit-out with them and the Brumbies. They’re a strong side and that’s how we’re approaching it.’
Reds – 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jock Campbell, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (c), 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Harry Hoopert.
Subs: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Josh Nasser, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 23 Josh Flook.
WARATAHS V WESTERN FORCE (Saturday, 11:05, Sydney)
The inclusion of Wallaby back Karmichael Hunt is the only change to the Waratahs team for Saturday’s match-up with the Force in Sydney.
Head coach Rob Penney has named an unchanged starting lineup, but Hunt will make his return from injury via the bench.
He takes the spot of either Ben Donaldson or Tepai Moeroa, who were both substitutes last week. Penney has bracketed Donaldson and Moeroa and will make a call on who falls out of the squad later in the week.
Waratahs – 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Alex Newsome, 12 Joey Walton, 11 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Will Harris, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (c), 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Angus Bell.
Subs: 16 Tom Horton, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Tiaan Tauakipulu, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Michael Mcdonald, 22 Ben Donaldson/Tepai Moeroa, 23 Karmichael Hunt.
Brynard Stander and Chris Heiberg have been named in the Force’s match-day 23 for what will be the team’s maiden Super Rugby AU game when they front the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
The Force have selected a strong squad for their first game back in Australia’s first division.
Stander cracks the nod at No 8, while fellow South African Chris Heiberg was selected on the bench as a backup prop.
Meanwhile, Marcel Brache, who previously played for Western Province and the Stormers, starts at outside centre.
Force – 15 Jack McGregor, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Nick Jooste, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Tevin Ferris, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Fergus Lee Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Angus Wagner.
Subs: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Johan Bardoul 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Jacob Abel, 22 Henry Taefy, 23 Kyle Godwin.