Melbourne Rebels v Queensland Reds
AAMI Park, Melbourne, Friday 7.40pm (AEST)
Last meeting: Round 3 2012 - Reds 11 bt Rebels 6 at Suncorp Stadium
Head-to-head: Played 3 Rebels 0 Reds 3
In Melbourne: Played 1 Rebels 0 Reds 1
Referee: Keith Brown (NZL)
TV: Live, FoxSports 3
TAB Sportsbet: Rebels $3.85 Reds $1.25
Greg Growden writes: A big danger game for the Reds. The Rebels are primed, the Amigos are back, and they appear to want to play for their Melbourne fans. The Reds can’t afford to lose any more games and this fixture could see them fall short of a finals spot.
AAP writes: The Queensland Reds are out to play party poopers in Stirling Mortlock’s Australian farewell match but they might be beaten to the punch by the former Wallaby skipper’s troublesome calf. While the Rebels remain optimistic, Mortlock looks unlikely to line up at The Stockade and could be mercilessly exploited if he does while not fully fit. The Rebels have a couple of contingency plans but, either way, their hopes lay with James O’Connor and Kurtley Beale getting enough ball to be dangerous together. Queensland, requiring three straight wins to make the finals, are almost back to full strength but will miss injured skipper James Horwill for the rest of the season.
REBELS: Kurtley Beale, Mark Gerrard, Mitch Inman, Stirling Mortlock (c), Cooper Vuna, James O'Connor, Nick Phipps; Gareth Delve, Hugh Perrett, Tom Chamberlain, Hugh Pyle, Cadeyrne Neville, Jono Owen, Adam Freier, Nic Henderson. Reserves: Ged Robinson, Rodney Blake, Al Campbell, Tim Davidson, Nic Stirzaker, Lachlan Mitchell, Julian Huxley.
REDS: Luke Morahan, Dom Shipperley, Anthony Faingaa, Mike Harris, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia (c); Scott Higginbotham, Liam Gill, Jake Schatz, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Reserves: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Radike Samo, Beau Robinson, Ben Lucas, Chris F'Sautia, Nick Frisby.