Melbourne Rebels name rookies to make Super Rugby debuts

Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan has named three rookies in his starting side to play the Blues in the opening match of the 2017 Super Rugby season. Former Eastern Suburbs and Australian U20s flyer Jack Maddocks will start the match on the wing, with No.8 Amanaki Mafi and flyhalf Jackson Garden-Bachop also set to make their Super Rugby debuts. “A couple injuries and illnesses during the trial phase has impacted selection for our season opener but the situation presents an early opportunity for players to put their hand up and stake their claim for positions,” McGahan said. “It’s unfortunate we’re missing key players for round one, we gave everyone the chance to prove their fitness and availability, but it’s too early in the season to risk the long term health of our players with a big season still ahead of us.” The Rebels will open the Super Rugby season for the third time in seven years when they host the Blues in the opening game of the season at AAMI Park on
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