Tonights clash between the Melbourne Rebels and the Sharks is being set up as a big game for both sides -- for the Rebels to claim another big win at home, and for the Sharks to prove they're the real deal even when traveling away.
Just two changes have been made by the Rebels, with Tony McGahan opting for Luke Burgess at scrumhalf to replace Nic Stirzakers, who goes down to the bench. Stirzaker has been impressive in the last five games he has started and brings plenty of tenacity and enthusiasm to the team, but Burgess' sharp, set-up passes will be needed in a match like this.
The one other change sees Cruze Ah-Nau make his first start for the Rebels at loosehead prop, replacing Toby Smith. Max Lahiff comes up to the bench.
Male Sau retains his position on the wing, and Caydern Neville will stay at lock with Hugh Pyle starting on the bench.
For the Sharks, four big names return to the starting fifteen with captain Bismarck du Plessis, flanker Jean Deysel and no.8 Ran Kankowski making their way into the line-up in place of Kyle Cooper, Etienne Oostuizen and Keegan Daniel respectively, who all move to the bench.
Scrumhalf Tim Swiel has been omitted from the squad completely and will be replaced by experienced Springbok François Steyn. JP Pietersen shuffles over to the left win to replace Sbura Sithole, and Odwa Ndungane coming in on the right side.
Cobus Reinach and Fred Zeilinga return via the bench.
MELBOURNE REBELS: 1. Ah-Nau, 2. Horie, 3. Weeks, 4. Neville, 5. Jones, 6. Fainga'a, 7. Fuglistaller, 8. Higginbotham (c), 9. Burgess, 10. Hegarty, 11. English, 12. Inman, 13. Ellison, 14. Sau, 15. Woodward
Replacements: 16. Leafa, 17. Lahiff, 18. Alo-Emilie, 19. Pyle, 20. McMahon, 21. Stirzaker, 22. Kingston, 23. Roberts
SHARKS: 1. Mtawarira, 2. B du Plessis, 3. J du Plessis, 4. Alerts, 5. Lewis, 6. Coetzee, 7. Deysel, 8. Kankoswki, 9. McLeod, 10. Steyn, 11. Pietersen, 12. Williams, 13. Jordaan, 14. Ndungane, 15. Mvovo
Replacements: 16. Cooper, 17. Chadwick, 18. Adriaanse, 19. Oosthuizen, 20. Daniel, 21. Reinach, 22. Zeilinga, 23. Marais.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Who wins tonights game? And who will be the game changing player?
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