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The Highlanders will welcome the Rebels to Dunedin in Round 5 of Super Rugby as both sides look to get an important win on their report card. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of what promises to be an exciting match starting from 5:05pm (AEDT).
The Rebels got beaten up by a rampant Sharks side last week and will be wanting to bounce back quickly. They’ve got some key talent returning, which will help, with Matt Toomua back in having recovered from his groin injury. The playmaker is obviously important to the Rebels’ chances but he’ll need some good ball and up front there have been more changes for the Melbourne side as they look to dominate the Highlanders pack.
Angus Cottrell is in at number six and Anaru Rangi returns as hooker. Also keep a look out for the giant lock Gideon Koegelenberg, who makes his run-on debut. The South African is over two metres tall and over 122 kilograms and it’ll be exciting to see if he can use that size to bring some go-forward to the Rebels.
For the home side, coach Aaron Mauger has made five changes to his starting team with Jack Whetton, Ash Dixon, Daniel Lienert-Brown and Teariki Ben-Nicholas getting a chance to start strong in the pack. Josh McKay impressed against the Crusaders last week and will start on the wing. The resting of Shannon Frizell is notable as he certainly brings power and aggression in both defence and attack.
The student population is back in town in Dunedin and Mauger has commented how he hopes they bring the noise to the enclosed Dunedin ground.
Both sides know that they have a tough season ahead of them and will need to perform better if they want to make the finals. With home-ground advantage the Highlanders should take this one.
Highlanders by 12.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of what promises to be an exciting match starting from 5:05pm (AEDT).
Where: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
When: 5.05pm (AEDT)
TV: Fox Sports
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel Go
Odds: Highlanders $1.15, Rebels $5.50
15. Michael Collins, 14. Josh McKay, 13. Rob Thompson, 12. Josh Ioane, 11. Jona Nareki, 10. Mitch Hunt, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7. James Lentjes (c), 6. Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 5. Jack Whetton, 4. Jesse Parete, 3. Siate Tokolahi, 2. Ash Dixon, 1. Daniel Lienert-Brown. Replacements: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Ayden Johnstone, 18. Jeff Thwaites, 19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20. Dillon Hunt, 21. Kayne Hammington, 22. Teihorangi Walden, 23. Scott Gregory
15. Dane Haylett-Petty (c), 14. Andrew Kellaway, 13. Tom English, 12. Bill Meakes, 11. Marika Koroibete, 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Ryan Louwrens, 8. Isi Naisarani, 7. Richard Hardwick, 6. Angus Cottrell, 5. Matt Philip, 4. Gideon Koegelenberg, 3. Jermaine Ainsley, 2. Anaru Rangi, 1. Matt Gibbon. Replacements: 16. Jordan Uelese, 17. Cameron Orr, 18. Cabous Eloff, 19. Ross Haylett-Petty, 20. Rob Leota, 21. Frank Lomani, 22. Michael Wells, 23. Andrew Deegan
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: James Doleman, James Munro
TMO: Chris Hart