The Rebels host the Crusaders in the second game of Super Rugby this morning, with the Rebels without a few key players and the Crusaders making use of the opportunity to rest some of theirs.
The Rebels are still without James O’Connor, as well as releasing Danny Cipriani from his contract prematurely, are left with Aussie Kurtley Beale taking over the reigns at flyhalf. They have been struggling for most parts of the season, and one will not expect much from them this morning.
The Crusaders started the season a little slow, but are hitting form ahead of the International break, and just need to keep beating the teams below them to stay in the playoff zone.Richie McCaw starts his first game of the season while the likes of Ben Franks, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read and Israel Dagg sit on the bench and will be sure to make an impact later in the game, if needed.
Rebels: 1. Nic Henderson, 2. Ged Robinson, 3. Rodney Blake, 4. Cadeyrn Neville, 5. Hugh Pyle (vc), 6. Tim Davidson, 7. Michael Lipman, 8. Gareth Delve (c), 9. Nick Phipps, 10. Kurtley Beale, 11. Cooper Vuna, 12. Lachlan Mitchell, 13. Mitch Inman, 14. Mark Gerrard, 15. Julian Huxley.
Replacements: 16. Adam Freier, 17. Jono Owen, 18. Al Campbell, 19. Ryan Hodson, 20. Nic Stirzaker, 21. James Hilgendorf, 22. Stirling Mortlock.
Crusaders: 1. Wyatt Crockett 2. Corey Flynn 3. Owen Franks 4. Luke Romano 5. Samuel Whitelock 6. George Whitelock 7. Richie McCaw (C) 8. Luke Whitelock 9. Willi Heinz 10. Tom Taylor 11. Zac Guildford 12. Dan Carter (VC) 13. Robbie Fruean 14. Sean Maitland 15. Tom Marshall
Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell 17. Ben Franks 18. Tom Donnelly (Ross Kennedy) 19. Kieran Read 20. Andy Ellis 21. Ryan Crotty 22. Israel Dagg
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:James Leckie
Assistant Ref 2:Will Houston
TMO : Matt Goddard