MELBOURNE - Halfback Luke Burgess has been promoted to the Melbourne Rebels' starting lineup in place of Nic Stirzaker for tonight's Super Rugby clash with the Sharks at AAMI Park.
Coach Tony McGahan said Burgess's experience and physicality would be vital against the competition leaders, who will be playing the first game of their four-match Australasian tour.
"We're looking for a change in dynamics this weekend as we play the Sharks who have such a big physical pack," McGahan said.
"Luke has a strong kicking game from nine, and we'll need the physicality around the ruck and in attack and defence that Luke can certainly bring."
Stirzaker has started the past five games for the Rebels.
The only other change to the starting team which defeated the Western Force 22-16 two weeks ago sees prop Cruze Ah-Nau come in for Toby Smith, who has a shoulder injury.