Nic Stirzaker to miss Rebels’ opening match against the Force

By James Wong Melbourne Rebels captain Nic Stirzaker will miss Saturday’s opening round Super Rugby match against the Western Force. The scrum half was unable to recover in time from a shoulder injury suffered in preseason training. Ben Meehan will start at No.9 with Wallabies flanker Sean McMahon set to captain the side in Stirzaker’s absence. Rebels head coach Tony McGahan said he wasn't willing to risk further injury to Stirzaker’s shoulder in the opening round, adding that he has plenty faith in Meehan to fill the role. “You'd always want your captain to be starting in round one and unfortunately Nic's not available but certainly Ben Meehan's done a good job. He's been here for the last two years. He's gathered game time both at Super Rugby level and also NRC where he had the full go at it last year so we're looking forward to him playing. Ben's excited and to be fair he's done all the preseason so he'll fit in seamlessly. “It's a long season we've got a big st
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