Super Rugby round nine
Rebels name James O'Connor at fly-half
ESPN Staff
April 11, 2013
The Rebels' James O'Connor runs the ball against the Waratahs, New South Wales Waratahs v Melbourne Rebels, Super Rugby, Allianz Stadium, March 1, 2013
James O'Connor impressed as the playmaker in Perth © Getty Images

Melbourne Rebels coach Damien Hill has made two changes to the side that beat Western Force, with James O'Connor playing fly-half against Southern Kings, at the expense of Angus Roberts, and Cooper Vuna returning to the starting XV on the left wing.

Lachlan Mitchell returns from injury to the bench, joining Roberts, but Hill resisted the urge to recall Gareth Delve from injury ahead of next weekend's bye.

"It was a solid performance in Perth and we feel was have a very balanced side with James at 10 this weekend," Hill said. "Angus is continuing to develop at this club, as is Jordy Reid and Nic Stirzaker. They are all part of a new brigade of talent coming through this Rebels program.

"This is a very spirited Southern Kings outfit with a great leader in Andries Strauss; we know what they are capable of. Many people close to the Kings would not have seen last week's result against the Brumbies as a surprise."

Rebels: Richard Kingi; Jason Woodward, Mitch Inman, Rory Sidey, Cooper Vuna; James O'Connor, Nick Phipps; Scott Higginbotham (captain), Scott Fuglistaller, Luke Jones; Cadeyrn Neville, Hugh Pyle; Paul Alo-Emile, Ged Robinson, Nic Henderson. Replacements: Shota Horie, Laurie Weeks, Jordy Reid, Jarrod Saffy, Nic Stirzaker, Lachlan Mitchell, Angus Roberts.

© ESPN Australia / New Zealand

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