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Rebels make four changes for Highlanders

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Update: 1:30PM THE Melbourne Rebels have made four changes to their starting line-up to face the Highlanders in their Super Rugby clash in Dunedin on Friday night.

Searching for their first victory on international soil, the Rebels have lost flanker Colby Fainga'a with a hip injury while winger Tom Kingston remains sidelined after suffering concussion in their last round win over the Brumbies.

Sean McMahon comes back into the side at No.6 while Japanese international Male Sau replaces Kingston on the right wing.

In the two other changes, Japan Test hooker Shota Horie will make his first start of the season ahead of Pat Leafa while prop Toby Smith returns from a head knock to start in the front row, with Max Lahiff dropping out of the squad.

Although disappointed to lose Fainga'a and Kingston, coach Tony McGahan said their replacements impressed coming off the bench last week.

"Colby pulled up a bit sore, and misses out after doing a fantastic job as expected last week," McGahan said.

"Sean McMahon has played some really good rugby for us so far this year and we look forward to having him back."

Rebels: Jason Woodward, Male Sau, Tamati Ellison, Mitch Inman, Tom English, Bryce Hegarty, Nic Stirzaker, Scott Higginbotham, Scott Fuglistaller, Sean McMahon, Luke Jones, Hugh Pyle, Laurie Weeks, Shota Horie, Toby Smith. Res: Pat Leafa, Paul Alo-Emilie, Cruze Ah-Nau, Cadeyrn Neville, Jordy Reid, Luke Burgess, Angus Roberts, Alex Rokobaro.

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