Eight debutants for Rebels



RaboDirect Rebels Head Coach Tony McGahan has named rookie Sean McMahon at blindside flanker as one eight new faces in the side for the Club’s first game of the 2014 Asteron Life Super Rugby season, against the Cheetahs at 7:30pm this Friday night at AAMI Park.

Three players will have the opportunity to taste Super Rugby action for the first time, with Sean McMahon, Ben Meehan and Max Lahiff all being named on the reserves bench.

Alongside the debutants, All Black Tamati Ellison will make his first appearance for the Rebels in Super Rugby joining two-time Super Rugby winner and former Chiefs prop Toby Smith, while former Waratah Tom Kingston, former Crusader Steve Fuala and former Brumby Colby Fainga’a are named on the bench, however it is McMahon who was deemed the ‘bolter’ for the new look Rebels line up

McMahon, the youngest ever Australian Rugby Sevens representative, said he felt a cluster of emotions when he first heard the news.

“I was a bit stunned, a bit nervous; there were lots of different emotions, but mainly I was excited,” McMahon said. “My mum and Aunty are coming down from Brisbane, and I’ll have a couple of really good mates there too.

“I’m really happy to be in the run-on side, so I can get straight in and get a feel for it. I just want to contribute to a strong first-up performance, and go from there.”

For scrumhalf Ben Meehan, tasting some of the action would represent the realisation of a childhood dream.

“I’m very, very excited to be named in the 23,” Meehan said. “I’ve always wanted to play professional Rugby, and I just want to do my family proud.

“I’m so pumped to run out at AAMI Park in front of a packed Melbourne Crowd, and I’m sure the atmosphere will be electric.”

Melbourne Rebels team to play Cheetahs, Friday February 28, AAMI Park (7:30pm)

1. Toby Smith **

2. Pat Leafa

3. Laurie Weeks

4. Hugh Pyle

5. Luke Jones

6. Sean McMahon *

7. Scott Fuglistaller

8. Scott Higginbotham (C)

9. Luke Burgess

10. Bryce Hegarty

11. Tom English

12. Mitch Inman

13. Tamati Ellison **

14. Lachlan Mitchell

15. Jason Woodward

16. Steve Fualau **

17. Max Lahiff *

18. Paul Alo-Emile

19. Cadeyrn Neville

20. Colby Fainga’a **

21. Ben Meehan *

22. Angus Roberts

23. Tom Kingston **

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