Rebels make one change for the Western Force

The Melbourne Rebels have named their team to play the Western Force in Perth on Friday with Wallabies forward Luke Jones winning his 50th Rebels cap.

Jones was one of four former Western Force players named for this week’s trip to Perth to face the Western Force in Round Five of the 2015 Super Rugby competition by Rebels Head Coach Tony McGahan.

Jones, a Foundation Rebel who moved to Melbourne in 2011, will become just the fourth Rebel to reach 50 caps for the five-year old Club, following in the footsteps of current teammate Laurie Weeks and former Rebels Lachlan Mitchell and Hugh Pyle.

McGahan was pleased for the 23 year old, who has started the 2015 season in strong form.

“Luke’s an integral part of the Club, and for such a young man to be reaching a half century of Rebels caps shows what a big impact he has had during his time in Melbourne,” McGahan said.

“We are looking to him to continue to lead at set piece time, and to lift against a Western Force pack that has a great work rate and is extremely physical.”

In the only change to the starting side which was narrowly defeated by the Brumbies at AAMI Park in Round Three, Scott Fuglistaller will start at openside flanker, with Colby Fainga’a named as a replacement.

The Rebels have also named two potential debutants on the bench, with hooker Tom Sexton and lock Steve Cummins hoping to get on the field for their first taste of Super Rugby action.

“We have an extremely competitive back row with plenty of competition for places,” McGahan said of the decision to start Fuglistaller.

“Scott comes in this week for his first starting opportunity of 2015, and we’re looking forward to him playing his role.

“Tom Sexton has worked incredibly hard to return from a serious knee injury suffered last season, and deserves his selection in the squad, while Steve Cummins has impressed over the preseason and early part of the season with his knowledge and improvement since joining the Club from Eastwood, via a stint with the EP Kings in South Africa’s Currie Cup last season.”


1. Toby Smith ,2. Pat Leafa ,3. Laurie Weeks ,4. Luke Jones,5. Lopeti Timani,6. Sean McMahon,7. Scott Fuglistaller ,8. Scott Higginbotham ,9. Nic Stirzaker ,10. Jack Debreczeni ,11. Tom English ,12. Mitch Inman ,13. Tamati Ellison ,14. Dom Shipperley,15. Mike Harris

Replacements :16. Tom Sexton ,17. Cruze Ah-Nau ,18. Paul Alo-Emile ,19. Steve Cummins,20. Colby Fainga’a,21. Luke Burgess,22. Bryce Hegarty ,23. Sefanaia Naivalu

* Denotes potential Super Rugby debut

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