Super Rugby
Toby Smith returns for Rebels against Reds
ESPN Staff
May 15, 2014

Melbourne Rebels have made two changes to their starting side to face Queensland reds at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Sunday, headlined by the return of two-time Super Rugby winning prop Toby Smith.

The Chiefs' Toby Smith runs at Christian Leali'ifano, Chiefs v Brumbies, Super Rugby, Super Rugby final, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, August 3, 2013
Former Chiefs prop Toby Smith adds Super Rugby-winning experience to the front-row © Getty Images

Smith replaces Cruze Ah-Nau in the front-row after missing the past two weeks with a shoulder injury, Ah-Nau drops to the bench after impressing in his first two career starts.

"Playing the Reds in Brisbane, where they have an outstanding record, bringing somebody like Toby with his wonderful experience back into the group is fantastic," Rebels coach Tony McGahan said. "Cruze has been terrific for the last few weeks, but Toby has been in good form there before his injury so he slots back in on the back of that."

The Rebels are without Japan internationals Male Sau and Shota Horie for the match in Brisbane, after they departed for Rugby World Cup Qualifiers last weekend. Tom Kingston replaces Sau place on the right wing, with Telusa Veainu added to the squad after solid form for Melbourne Unicorns, while Samoa international Steve Fualau replaces Horie as back-up hooker.

"Shota and Male have both made great progress here since coming into the program very late, and that's been evident in how they have been improving every week and contributing to the team effort; they'll both be missed," McGahan said. "It gives opportunity for Steve Fualau, who was involved in the early rounds, and he is really looking forward to coming back in and testing himself at Super Rugby level.

"It also provides an opportunity for Tom Kingston to start, after working so hard behind the scenes on his game. Telusa is also keen to get game time after a frustrating season so far with injury." In the final change to the squad, young fly-half/fullback Jack Debreczeni has been elevated to the bench.

Rebels: Jason Woodward ; Tom Kingston, Tamati Ellison, Mitch Inman , Tom English; Bryce Hegarty, Luke Burgess; Scott Higginbotham (captain), Scott Fuglistaller, Colby Fainga'a; Luke Jones, Cadeyrn Neville; Laurie Weeks, Pat Leafa, Toby Smith. Replacements: Steve Fualau, Cruze Ah-Nau, Paul Alo-Emilie, Hugh Pyle, Sean McMahon, Ben Meehan, Jack Debreczeni, Telusa Veainu.

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