The Melbourne Rebels have made four changes to their starting XV as they aim to secure the club’s first-ever Super Rugby finals appearance when they face the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.
Injuries to fullback Dane Haylett-Petty (knee) and lock Geoff Parling (shoulder) have forced positional and personnel changes from last week’s match against the Reds. Meanwhile props Fereti Sa’aga and Sam Talakai earn starting spots in the Rebels’ forward pack in place of Tetera Faulkner and Jermaine Ainsley, who have moved to the bench.
Ross Haylett-Petty earns his first start since the Rebels’ Round 10 match against the Bulls, while Jack Maddocks shifts to fullback and Sefa Naivalu moves off the bench and onto the right wing.
Sam Jeffries and Lopeti Timani also make their returns to the 23, as the Rebels opt for a 6-2 bench split.
Captain Adam Coleman (adductor) and halfback Will Genia (arm) will spend one more week on the sidelines, however reserve hooker Nathan Charles has shaken off any concussion concerns and will line up on the reserves bench.
Melbourne Rebels team vs Highlanders: