Toomua set for Rebels debut against the Bulls

Super Rugby  - players engage in a scrum
Star recruit Matt Toomua looks set to play his first game for the Rebels after being named on the bench for their clash against the Bulls at AAMI Park on Friday.



Rebels vs Bulls
Friday, May 17
AAMI Park
Time: 11:45

To Win
Rebels 4/10
Draw 25/1
Bulls 2/1

Handicap
Rebels (-6.5) 9/10
Bulls (+6.5) 9/10

It could be Toomua’s first Super Rugby game since he played 88 games for the Brumbies between 2008-2016.

He will be joined by Sam Jeffries who will return to the side to bolster the forward stocks, finishing off a 5-3 split on the bench.

Meanwhile, loose forwards Richard Hardwick and Rob Leota have been promoted to the side’s starting XV to battle the Bulls at AAMI Park this Friday night.

Hardwick, who came off the bench in last week’s big win over the Reds, has been elevated to the number seven jersey, while Leota will step up to the number eight jersey.

Luke Jones and Isi Naisarani were the two players left out of the side, after both suffered a fractured eye socket and a foot injury respectively in last Friday’s victory over the Reds.

In better news for the team, Quade Cooper has been cleared to play following a nasty incident where the number 10 was concussed by a knee to the head form Reds skipper Samu Kerevi.

Head coach Dave Wessels says Cooper is raring to go against an in-form Bulls side after being cleared by medical professionals.

“He’s fine, he pulled up straight away after the game and was feeling fine, he followed the concussion pathway and passed all of those markers, so he’s feeling good,” Wessels said.

With star forwards Jones and Naisarani ruled out, Wessels has backed in forwards Rob Leota and Richard Hardwick to fill the void against a strong Bulls forward pack.

“We’re lucky we’ve got some depth in the back five of the scrum,” he added. “Rob Leota, obviously everyone knows how well he’s been playing, so it’s great to have him in the mix.

“We’re fortunate to have Dickie (Richard Hardwick) who’s a Wallaby, we’ve missed having a specialist flanker who plays to the ball, so that’s a part of our game that Dickie will really help with.”
Verdict: Rebels by 5


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