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Rebels make three changes for Chiefs

NZN 19/05/2016

Tom English and Mitch Inman are back to bolster the Melbourne Rebels for their must-win Super Rugby clash with the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

The Rebels have made three changes to the starting line-up from the side that lost last round to the Brumbies.

Melbourne are desperate for a win to keep alive their slim hopes of playing in the finals.

Winger English, centre Inman and lock Sam Jeffries have been recalled into the starting 15, while former Chief Culum Retallick, Jonah Placid and Siliva Siliva have been named on the reserves bench for the game at Waikato Stadium.

English, who replaces Cam Crawford (broken wrist), and Inman haven't started since suffering injuries in round five and six respectively and their inclusion gives Melbourne some extra size in the backline.

Tamati Ellison makes way for Inman at outside centre.

Jeffries will replace Luke Jones, who failed to overcome a back injury suffered in the 30-22 loss to the Brumbies in Melbourne.

"We gave the players every opportunity to prove their fitness but unfortunately a few knocks from last weekend have forced our hand for Saturday," Rebels coach Tony McGahan said.

"They're all eager to do well and push their cases for the business end of the season."

Despite the Chiefs holding a 3-1 head-to-head advantage going into Saturday's game, little has separated the sides in their previous meetings.

The Rebels only victory over the Chiefs came when they last played in 2015.

"The Chiefs are one of the toughest challenges in Super Rugby, they've built a successful game around a dangerous counter attack, so were looking forward to the contest," McGahan said.

Rebels: Mike Harris, Sefa Naivalu, Mitch Inman, Reece Hodge, Tom English, Jack Debreczeni, Nic Stirzaker (captain), Adam Thomson, Sean McMahon, Colby Fainga'a, Lopeti Timani, Sam Jeffries, Jamie Hagan, James Hanson, Toby Smith. Res: Siliva Siliva, Cruze Ah Nau, Tim Metcher, Culum Retallick, Jordy Reid, Ben Meehan, Jonah Placid, Kotaro Matsushima.

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