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The Melbourne Rebels make their Super Rugby AU debut for 2021 tonight, but they’ve been handed a tough first fixture, away to the Queensland Reds. Join The Roar for live scores of this Round 2 clash from 7:45pm (AEDT).
The Reds were lethal in their season opener last week, putting 41 points on the Waratahs to get their campaign started in the best way possible.
The Rebels should offer more resistance than the Tahs. The Melbourne outfit are coming off their first-ever finals appearance, and have a good cohort of Wallabies in their midst, including Matt To’omua, Joe Powell, Marika Koroibete and Reece Hodge.
Even so, it’s not a full-strength for the Melbournians. Campbell Magnay and Dane Haylett-Petty are notable injured absentees from the backline, and number eight Isi Naisarani is also unavailable.
The Reds have gone with a fairly settled side, the main change being Taniela Tupou’s promotion from the bench to the starting XV as Brad Thorn eases his star prop into the season.
There’s also a Super Rugby debut on the cards for high-profile cross-code signing Suliasi Vunivalu. The former NRL premiership winner will make his first appearance for the Reds tonight from the bench, after missing Round 1 through suspension.
Kick-off: 7:45pm (AEDT)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Live stream: Stan Sport
Betting: Reds $1.17, Rebels $5 (odds via PlayUp
1-15: Dane Zander, Alex Mafi, Taniela Tupou, Angus Blyth, Seru Uru, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor (c), Filipo Daugunu, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Jock Campbell
Bench: Josh Nasser, Harry Hoopert, Feao Fotuaika, Ryan Smith, Sam Wallis, Moses Sorovi, Bryce Hegarty, Suliasi Vunivalu
1-15: Cabous Eloff, Jordan Uelese, Pone Faamausili, Steve Cummins, Trevor Hosea, Brad Wilkin, Richard Hardwick, Michael Wells, Joe Powell, Matt To’omua (c), Marika Koroibete, Reece Hodge, Stacey Ili, Lachlan Anderson, Tom Pincus
Bench: Ed Craig, Isaac Aedo Kailea, Rhys van Nek, Rob Leota, Josh Kemeny, James Tuttle, Glen Vaihu, Frank Lomani