SUPER RUGBY PREVIEW : SunWolves vs Rebels


Sunwolves head coach Mark Hammett has made three changes to his run-on side for Saturday’s clash with the Melbourne Rebels in Tokyo.

Hammett has made just one change to his back-line, with Mifiposeti Paea coming in to the starting line-up on the left wing where he takes over from Yasutaka Sasakura.

In the forwards, there are two changes. Yoshiya Hosoda comes in for Liaki Moli on the blindside flank while Takuma Asahara replaces Shinnosuke Kakinaga at tighthead prop.

The Sunwolves are in their first season of Super Rugby and lost their two previous matches against the Lions and Cheetahs.

The Melbourne Rebels welcome back captain Nic Stirzaker and Scott Fuglistaller for Saturday’s historic game against the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

The pair have been named as reserves in the 23-player team with Stirzaker returning from a shoulder reconstruction and Fugistaller overcoming a hip injury to be selected for the first time this season.

Rebels Head Coach Tony McGahan has made two changes to the run-on team with Tamati Ellison clear of concussion after missing the team’s two-point victory over the Reds last weekend and Pat Leafa starting at hooker.

“It’s been great to have Nic and Scott back, they bring a wealth of experience and leadership to the team,” said McGahan.

The Rebels will become the first Australasian team to contest Super Rugby against the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

Jamie Hagan has overcome his virus to return to the bench, after missing last weekend, and Sione Tuipulotu has retained his spot in the team after his impressive Super Rugby debut against the Reds.

The Teams :

Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa, 12 Yu Tamura, 11 Mifiposeti Paea, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Edward Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Yoshiya Hosoda, 5 Timothy Bond, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie (c), 1 Keith Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Tomas leonardi, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Derek Carpenter, 23 Yasutaka Sasakura

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jonah Placid, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Sean McMahon (c), 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Cruze Ah Nau, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Dan Hawkins, 23 Sione Tuipulotu

Date: Saturday, March 19
Venue: Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 13:15 local (04:15 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: Shuhei Kubo, Noriaki Hashimoto
TMO: Takashi Hareda





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