Samo set to make Rebels debut against Hurricanes

The Rebels have named their team to play the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday with four players making major milestones and Radike Samo on the bench.

Rebels centre Mitch Inman becomes the fifth player, and the first non-foundation Rebel, to reach 50 Caps for the Club, while Co-Captain Scott Higginbotham makes his 100th Super Rugby appearance.

Foundation Rebel Laurie Weeks will also overtake former player Hugh Pyle as the most-capped player in the Club’s history, moving to 59 Rebels caps.

McGahan was pleased to see the players reach these milestones, and stressed the importance of acknowledging them.

“Mitch is a very important part of the Club and his search for continual improvement in his game makes him a vital part of the clubs growth going forward,” McGahan said.

“Reaching a century of Super Rugby appearances is a great sign of Scott’s form and durability over a long period of time in a very demanding competition.

“Laurie has been the constant at the Rebels and his spirit and passion for the club is evident daily; it inspires those around him as we continue to improve as a Club. I’m delighted for all three players, and it’s really important that we acknowledge these milestones for the individuals and the Squad.”

Other highlights of the announcement see Sefanaia Naivalu named for his first Super Rugby start, potential Rebels debuts for Radike Samo and Tom Sexton, and returns to the matchday squad for Jack Debreczeni, Ben Meehan and Cadeyrn Neville.

McGahan was confident that the side he has selected are capable of securing a positive result in Wellington, and was looking forward to watching Naivalu in his run-on debut.

“Sefa has continued his introduction to Super Rugby through gathering time every week at the back end of games, and having a real impact,” he said.

“We are all looking forward to his starting debut, as he has sacrificed plenty and worked extremely hard to get to this position.”

Dom Shipperley was earlier this week ruled out for 4-6 weeks with a hand injury, while utility forward Lopeti Timani will be rested this week after playing all five games so far this season.

The remainder of the Rebels playing squad will be available to play in Round Two of the Direct Connect Dewar Shield, Victoria’s premier Club Rugby competition.


1. Toby Smith , 2. Pat Leafa , 3. Laurie Weeks , 4. Luke Jones , 5. Cadeyrn Neville , 6. Sean McMahon , 7. Scott Fuglistaller , 8. Scott Higginbotham (C) , 9. Nic Stirzaker , 10. Jack Debreczeni , 11. Sefanaia Naivalu , 12. Mitch Inman , 13. Tamati Ellison , 14. Tom English , 15. Mike Harris

Replacements: 16. Tom Sexton *, 17. Cruze Ah-Nau , 18. Paul Alo-Emile , 19. Radike Samo *, 20. Colby Fainga’a , 21. Ben Meehan , 22. Bryce Hegarty , 23. Jonah Placid

* Denotes potential Rebels debut

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