Andrew Deegan will make his first start for the Melbourne Rebels in their Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Sharks in Ballarat on Saturday.
Deegan replaces regular flyhalf Matt To’omua, who will miss the game after succumbing to a groin complaint. It will be the 24-year-old’s first start in Super Rugby, after performing well for the Western Force in the National Rugby Championship, where he led the competition in points, assists and conversions.
In a further injury blow, Wallaby wing Reece Hodge will also sit out due to a groin injury. Andrew Kellaway comes off the bench to replace him in the starting lineup.
The only other changes to the XV come in the front row as tighthead Jermaine Ainsley and hooker Steve Misa earn starts. Misa will be making his run-on debut for the Rebels.
Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (c), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Andrew Deegan, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Steven Misa, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Subs: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Tom English.
Photo: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images