O’Connor returns for Rebels to face Reds

The Rebels have named James O’Connor at flyhalf as the only change to the starting team to play the Reds at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

James O’Connor’s return to the starting line up means that Rebels rookie Bryce Hegarty drops down to the replacements bench.

will start for the Rebels in a much anticipated return in the number 10 jersey, while

The Rebels will be looking for their third win in a row, and first against the 2011 champions.

Head Coach Damien Hill suggested the wins are doing more than just unveiling new talent, but instilling confidence throughout the entire playing roster.

“We approach every season with a squad mentality. Given the nature of the competition we are going to have players come in and out of the team,” said Hill.

“With many players being unavailable in recent months, it has given players like Bryce an opportunity to step up. We couldn’t be more pleased with how Bryce, Kimami and Stirzaker have taken their chances. “

“It gives every player in the team confidence in the entire squad, and I think that is an extremely positive thing for the Club.”

Hill stated the significance of O’Connor’s return for the match, not only for Australian Rugby, but more importantly for the Club.

“James was desperate to play last week, however it was not in his or the Club’s best interest to play when the injury had not fully recovered. He has been physically tested over the past 24 hours, and has shown no signs that the injury will play a factor in his performance.

“Leaving the Wallabies aside he is desperate for a win against the Reds with this group.”

Rebels

1. Nic Henderson, 2. Ged Robinson, 3. Laurie Weeks , 4. Hugh Pyle, 5. Luke Jones, 6. Jarrod Saffy, 7. Scott Fuglistaller, 8. Scott Higginbotham (C), 9. Nick Phipps, 10. James O’Connor, 11. Lachlan Mitchell, 12. Rory Sidey, 13. Mitch Inman, 14. Tom English, 15. Jason Woodward,

Replacements : 16. Shota Horie, 17. Paul Alo-Emile, 18. Cadeyrn Neville, 19. Gareth Delve, 20. Nic Stirzaker, 21. Bryce Hegarty, 22. Kimami Sitauti,

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