Fuglistaller leads Melbourne Rebels against Bulls

The Melbourne Rebels have named Scott Fuglistaller as captain of their team for the Club’s final match of the 2014 Super Rugby season against the Bulls in Pretoria on Friday.

Fuglistaller, who will be the club’s fifth captain, will lead the side on as Captain for the first time, following Scott Higginbotham being handed a one week suspension by SANZAR for receiving three yellow cards this season.

Joining the Club in 2013 from Wellington, New Zealand, Scott recently extended his contract with the Club until the end of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

A tenacious flanker, Scott has led the team when Higginbotham has been off the field at various stages this season; he is renowned internally for his leadership capabilities and his ability to inspire his teammates to achieve the very best.

Rebels’ Assistant Coach Sean Hedger said that Fuglistaller was the natural choice for the role.

“Scotty is one of those guys who is a natural leader,” Hedger explained. “Whether it be during the off-season, in off-field meetings or in game time, Scott leads by actions and words; when he speaks, all players stop and listen.”

In further honours, Colby Fainga’a and Toby Smith will both celebrate their 50th Super Rugby match in a game which will also see departing players Hugh Pyle, Jason Woodward and Alex Rokobaro feature in a Rebels squad for the last time.

The team named by Head Coach Tony McGahan features three forced personnel changes, as the Rebels look to equal their best ever season with a victory at Loftus Versfeld giving them a season tally of five wins.

A re-shuffle of the forward packs sees Wallaby Luke Jones move to the back of the scrum as blindside flanker and Fainga’a shift to Number Eight, with Cadeyrn Neville replacing Jones as the second lock.

Injuries to Tom Kingston (knee) and Bryce Hegarty (shoulder) see Jason Woodward and Telusa Veainu return to the backline as part of a re-shuffle, which sees young gun Jack Debreczeni move to flyhalf and Woodward replace him at fullback.

Veainu replaces Kingston on the right wing, and Fijian international Rokobaro joins the bench. Backrower Lopeti Timani and centre Lalakai Foketi are also both named on the bench, and will be looking to make just their second appearance in the Five Stars.

Fainga’a joined the Club ahead of the 2014 Super Rugby season following 35 matches for the Brumbies in his home city of Canberra. Having recently re-signed with the Club until the end of the 2016 season, Colby has featured in all games bar one this year and reaches a half century of Super Rugby appearances aged just 23.

Smith also moved to Melbourne in 2014 after being a part of the past two Championship winning squads at the Chiefs, in New Zealand. Born in Far North Queensland, Toby made 37 appearances in Hamilton before moving back to his country of birth, and is tipped by many as a future Wallaby loosehead prop.

Foundation Rebel Hugh Pyle was the second player to reach 50 Rebels caps, after good friend and fellow departee Lachlan Mitchell, and heads off to France where he will ply his trade for Stade Francais. This game will be his 58th Rebels cap, while for Hurricanes-bound fullback Woodward it will represent the 28th time he has played for the Club.

Woodward will leave Melbourne as the Club’s current record points scorer, with six tries and nearly 70 successful shots at goal.

Rokobaro has been limited to just three appearances for the Club since signing from Stade Francais in 2013, having actually also completed the Club’s inaugural 2011 pre-season as a member of the wider training squad. The Fijian international will depart at season’s end to continue his Rugby journey in Europe.


1. Toby Smith,2. Shota Horie,3. Laurie Weeks,4. Hugh Pyle,5. Cadeyrn Neville,6. Luke Jones,7. Scott Fuglistaller (Captain),8. Colby Fainga’a,9. Luke Burgess,10. Jack Debreczeni ,

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