JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Big guns out but Rebels fancy their chances

Date

Stathi Paxinos

Al Campbell with Stirling Mortlock after the latter's last home game.

Al Campbell with Stirling Mortlock after the latter's last home game. Photo: Getty Images

MELBOURNE second-rower Al Campbell would love for the Lions to believe that the absence of Rebels stars Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor will give them as easy ride when the teams meet in Johannesburg.

The 12th-placed Rebels have lost their two biggest names through injury, but Campbell said it would be pleasing if the Lions took the Rebels lightly. He said the Rebels had faith in each other and had shown through performances this season, where Beale and O'Connor have regularly been missing through injury, they were capable without the stars.

The match against the last-placed Lions in Johannesburg early on Sunday morning, Melbourne time, would appear a great opportunity to break their drought in foreign territory.

The Rebels have lost all six of their offshore games and, in the process, have failed to concede less than 38 points a match. The Lions have won just two out of 14 games this season.

Rebels prop Nic Henderson said the team was wary of the Lions.

''They've got a really strong forward pack. I don't think there's a good time to play them, especially at altitude,'' he said.

Rebels coach Damien Hill has made three changes to his starting pack. Ged Robinson comes in at hooker for Adam Freier, Campbell replaces Hugh Pyle in the second row and Tim Davidson takes over at blindside flanker from Tom Chamberlain.

Hill downplayed suggestions that the squad had been hard hit by illness.

Chamberlain has again been stood down from playing because of side-effects from concussion. He flew to South Africa with the team on Sunday but has since again suffered problems.

Hill also said Mark Gerrard, who was originally going to stay and play this weekend's game and then fly to Sydney for the birth of his son, would now remain for next week's final game against the Stormers.

Rebels: Huxley, Gerrard, Inman, Mortlock (c), Vuna, Hilgendorf, Phipps, Delve, Perrett, Davidson, Campbell, Neville, Owen, Robinson, Henderson. Res: Freier, Alo-Emile, Pyle, Jones, Kingi, Mitchell, Johannson.

Lions: Kamana, Mapoe, Murray, James, Volmink, Jantjies, Bondesio, Strauss (c), Hattingh, Minnie, Van der Merwe, Roodt, Adriaanse, Visagie, van Rensburg. Res: Bezuidenhout, Dreyer, Oosthuizen, Kriel, Cronje, Esterhuizen, Combrinck.

Bledisloe Cup

Bledisloe Cup
Sat, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
AUS 12 vs NZL 12 20:05ANZ
Sat, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NZL 51 vs AUS 20 17:35EP
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 28 vs NZL 29 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
Featured advertisers