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Rebels welcome back key players

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019    Getty Images

The Rebels, who beat the Brumbies away, will be strengthened by the return off the bench of their Wallabies Adam Coleman, who has been recovering from a calf injury and centre Reece Hodge who had a broken ankle.

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The pair were at full fitness despite their disrupted preseason.

Coach Dave Wessels said, "Probably the biggest thing for us is just that the way those guys have competed in their rehab to get to the level where they are.

"Both of them have hit some personal best fitness markers which is sometimes not easy when you're in a different environment, you're not training with the main team and then to have them back in training for the last two weeks has been pretty special," he said.

"We're working hard to try and create an environment where guys are just working hard to compete every day with each other, get better themselves but also get better with the people around them so I think Adam and Reece deserve their selection for having done that."

Wessels said changes to the side who beat the Brumbies were minimal because the players earned the chance for retention.

"We want to be true to the fact that we're rewarding guys who compete in everything and want to be there and show desire to want to play and I think we've stayed true to that," he said.
"I thought the guys who played against the Brumbies, a lot of them deserved to retain their spots and in some instances we've made changes because it's pretty hard to split between two guys so we're giving somebody else an opportunity. We're excited for Friday night," he said.

Wessels goes into the game looking for more consistency from his side around the set piece.

He believes his pack have worked on, and improved, their scrum technique during the bye week.

"I thought we scrummed well at times [against the Brumbies] but we were inconsistent…but it's something we've worked on over the last couple of weeks.

"We're very fortunate to have some experienced players like Tetera Faulkner, who's played 80-90 games, Sam Talakai, who's starting tighthead this week and Anaru Rangi, because it's not their first rodeo, so we're confident with how they'll go," he said.