Rebels flyhalf Matt To’omua set for 100th Super Rugby match

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Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels has named his team for Saturday’s Super Rugby AU opener against the Brumbies in Canberra.

SEMrush

Kick-off is at 11:15 (SA time).

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Matt To’omua, who starts at flyhalf, is set for the milestone of his 100th Super Rugby cap.

Despite the unusual circumstances surrounding the season to date, To’omua told the Rebels’ official website it will be special moment notching his century in Canberra, the place where his Super Rugby journey first began back in 2008.

“It’s odd because I think we’re all just excited to play – it’s not like I need any more extra motivation or anything like that,” said To’omua.

“But it has dawned on me a little bit; a little bit fitting coming back here and having it as well.”

To’omua will partner Ryan Louwrens at halfback, while Marika Koroibete and Andrew Kellaway will start on the wings and Dane Haylett-Petty will captain the side from fullback.

The return of Reece Hodge is also a boost for the Rebels. He returns from injury to play at outside centre with Billy Meakes on his inside.

Injuries and departures have forced Wessels to name a new-look pack.

Wallabies No 8 Isi Naisarani is out with a hamstring strain, while hooker Anaru Rangi has been ruled out with a knee injury.

Michael Wells comes in for Naisarani at No 8 and Test hooker Jordan Uelese will step up to the starting spot in Rangi’s absence.

Matt Philip will team up with former Sunwolves lock Michael Stolberg in the second row.

Promising 21-year-old Josh Kemeny will make his debut at blindside flank, with Richard Hardwick named at openside flank.

Teams:

Brumbies

15 Mack Hansen, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valentini, 5 Murray Douglas, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Lachlan McCaffrey, 20 Will Miller, 21 Issak Fines, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Len Ikitau

Rebels

15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Michael Stolberg, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Pone Fa’amausili, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Matt Gibbon

Substitutes: 16 Efitusi Ma’afu, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Trevor Hosea, 20 Esei Haangana, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Andrew Deegan





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