Melbourne Rebels v Reds - Super Rugby match preview

Last Updated: 08/03/13 12:56pm

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Angus Roberts will make his Super Rugby debut when the Rebels face the Reds at AAMI Park on Friday.

Roberts gets his first run out at full-back, with James O'Connor having switched to fly-half to replace the injured Kurtley Beale.

Alex Rokobaro also comes into the back division, with Rory Sidey dropping to the bench, while coach Damian Hill has kept faith in his pack.

The Reds will be buoyed by the return of Anthony Faingaa for the trip to Melbourne.

The 26-year-old centre has recovered from a hand injury to take his place in the side, with boss Ewen McKenzie making two further changes.

After 12 appearances off the bench scrum-half Nick Frisby makes his first Super Rugby start, while the versatile Jono Lance is named at full-back for the first time since 2011

Rebels: 15 Angus Roberts, 14 Richard Kingi, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Alex Rokobaro, 10 James O'Connor (c), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Jordy Reid, 19 Jarrod Saffy, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Tom English.

Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby; 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 Ed O'Donoghue, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Chris Feauai-Sautia.

What they said...

Reds boss Ewen McKenzie

"Anthony's an experienced player that brings a lot of the energy to the group with his enthusiasm and leadership, so we're happy he is healthy once again.

"We've been deliberately conscious not to rush his injury but at the same time he has been training strongly with the group for more than a fortnight now and we are confident he will add another dimension to our performance."

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