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Rebel Timani back for Brumbies rugby clash

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/06/2017 Melissa Woods

Wallabies lock Lopeti Timani has recovered from a head knock to return to the Melbourne line-up for Saturday night's Super Rugby game against the conference-leading Brumbies in Canberra.

The Rebels are looking to repeat their round-eight upset win over the Brumbies, which stands as their only victory of the season.

Rebels coach Tony McGahan has made five changes to the starting line-up, with Hugh Sinclair named to replace Test flanker Sean McMahon, who is sidelined for six to eight weeks with a dislocated wrist.

Timani, after missing last round's loss to the Crusaders after a head knock at training, will give the forward pack some extra grunt against the highly rated Brumbies outfit.

"The Brumbies' physicality and strong set piece has provided them the foundation for a consistent season and they deserve their place at the top of the Australian conference going into the Test break," McGahan said.

"For us, this game presents an opportunity to knock off the conference leaders for a second time this season and show what this side is capable of without a year of off-field distractions and inconsistent selection."

Ben Volavola has returned to five-eighth, while Reece Hodge has shifted to fullback and Mitch Inman is back at inside centre.

McGahan has made two changes to the reserves bench by including Cruze Ah-Nau for the first time since round four, having recovering from a knee injury. Back-rower Will Miller will add some extra depth after McMahon's injury.

REBELS:

Reece Hodge, Sefa Naivalu, Tom English, Mitch Inman, Marika Koroibete, Ben Volavola, Nic Stirzaker (capt), Amanaki Mafi, Colby Fainga'a, High Sinclair, Lopeti Timani, Steve Cummins, Tyrel Lomax, James Hanson, Toby Smith.

Res: Siliva Siliva, Cruze Ah-Nau, Laurie Weeks, Culum Retallick, Will Miller, Ben Meehan, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Jonah Placid.

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