Rebels v Stormers - Super Rugby match preview
Last Updated: 18/05/13 11:02am
The DHL Stormers take on the Melbourne Rebels in the final game of their Australasian tour hoping to finish on a high after suffering back-to-back defeats.
Rebels are a side that have been playing well, but have lost by less than a converted try in the last four matches.
Meanwhile, the South Africans have won two games and losing two games by less than a seven-point margin, so something is expected to give when the sides meet at AAMI Park.
The Rebels, who have toiled for a month, make four changes to the side that lost to the Blues last week.
First choice scrum-half Nick Phipps starts from the bench, having a rare rest which gives Nick Stirzaker his first starting role as scrum-half.
Lachlan Mitchell moves to the left wing to cover Cooper Vuna, who will miss the match with a calf strain. In turn, Rory Sidey fills Mitchell's regular position at 12.
Former Brumbies winger Kimami Sitauti will make his first appearance for the Rebels while rookie Bryce Hegarty, who came on as a third string fly-half last week against the Blues, will start in that position. Ged Robinson returns at hooker, relegating Shota Horie to the bench.
The Stormers' coach Allister Coetzee has made seven changes to his squad for Friday night. Deon Fourie again slots in on the side of the scrum, giving Scarra Ntubeni his first taste of Super Rugby this season in the number two jersey.
Nizaam Carr also gets his first start of the year, packing down at number eight. Flanker Siya Kolisi will serve on the openside this week with Rynhardt Elstadt missing out completely due to injury.
Rebels15. Jason Woodward 14. Tom English 13. Mitch Inman 12. Rory Side 11. Lachlan Mitchell 10. Bryce Hegarty 9. Nic Stirzaker 8. Scott Higginbotham 7. Scott Fuglistaller 6. Jarrod Saffy 5. Cadeyrn Neville 4. Hugh Pyle 3. Laurie Weeks 2. Ged Robinson 1. Nic Henderson
Replacements:16. Shota Horie 17. Paul Alo-Emile 18. Luke Jones 19. Gareth Delve 20. Jordy Reid 21. Nick Phipps 22. Kimaumi Sitauti.
Stormers: 15. Joe Pietersen 14. Gio Aplon 13. Juan de Jongh 12. Jean de Villers 11. Bryan Habana 10. Elton Jantjies 9. Louis Schreuder 8. Nizaam Carr 7. Siya Kolisi 6. Deon Fourie 5. Andriess Bekker 4. Eben Etzebeth 3. Pat Cilliers 2. Scarra Ntubeni 1. Steven Kitshof
Replacements: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout 17. Frans Malherbe 18. Gerbrandt Grobler 19. Don Armond 20. Nic Groom 21. Gary van Aswegan 22. Gerhard van den Heever.
What they said...
Melbourne Rebels head coach Damien Hill
"The past four matches have provided some positive outcomes for this young Rebels side.
"We saw last week the depth of the Rebels squad tested with injuries to James O'Connor and Angus Roberts in the early stages of the match against the Blues."
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