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Volavola picked for Rebels at five-eighth

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/04/2017 Melissa Woods

Fiji five-eighth Ben Volavola will make his first start of the season in the Melbourne Rebels No.10 jersey for their Super Rugby clash with the Kings.

The former Waratahs and Crusaders utility has replaced Jack Debreczeni, who was dumped from the squad for the Port Elizabeth clash on Sunday.

Volavola, 26, played on the wing in their draw with the Sharks last round but Marika Koroibete has recovered from a back injury to take his place there.

The Australian-born Volavola started all four games at five-eighth for Fiji at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Wallabies prop Toby Smith will play his first match of 2017 after injuring his hamstring in a pre-season trial, named on the bench alongside lock Dom Day who has recovered from a back issue.

Flanker Colby Fainga'a is back in the starting line-up after missing the Sharks clash for the birth of his daughter last week, with debutant Will Miller heading to the bench.

Rebels coach Tony McGahan said he was happy to be strengthening his injury-hit side as they chase their first win in South Africa.

"It's the first time in a while that we've been able to get some quality and experienced players back," McGahan said.

"The bench had a big part to play last week against the Sharks and they'll have another big game to play this week."

Rebels: Reece Hodge, Sefa Naivalu, Tom English, Mitch Inman, Marika Koroibete, Ben Volavola, Nic Stirzaker (Captain), Amanaki Mafi, Colby Fainga'a, Jake Schatz, Steve Cummins, Culum Retallick, Tyrel Lomax, Siliva Siliva, Fereti Sa'aga. Res: James Hanson, Toby Smith, Laurie Weeks, Dominic Day, Will Miller, Hugh Sinclair, Mick Snowden, Jackson Garden-Bachop.

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