Tamati Ellison to face Hurricanes in Rebels debut
Tamati Ellison will make his Melbourne Rebels debut against former Super Rugby franchise the Hurricanes in a pre-season trial in Geelong on Saturday night.
The four-test All Black midfielder has only recently arrived in Melbourne following the end of his second stint at the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan so will value the opportunity to build familiarity with the Rebels personnel and playing style under new head coach Tony McGahan.
Ellison, 30, is the Rebels' key signing for 2014 as McGahan rebuilds a backline no longer featuring Wallabies Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor.
He will play the second half of the trial against the Hurricanes, who he represented after making his Super Rugby debut for the Blues in 2005.
Ellison also played for the Highlanders in 2012 before embarking on his second career move to the Black Rams.
Former Sydney University lock Sam Jeffries also makes his Rebels debut at Simmonds Stadium.
First half: Jason Woodward, Tom Kingston, Tom English, Mitch Inman, Telusa Veainu, Bryce Hegarty, Luke Burgess, Lopeti Timani, Sean McMahon, Jordy Reid, Luke Jones, Hugh Pyle, Laurie Weeks, Pat Leafa, Max Lahiff.
Second half: Alex Rokobaro, Lachlan Mitchell, Tamati Ellison, Lalakai Foketi, Joe Kamana, Angus Roberts, Ben Meehan, Scott Higginbotham, Scott Fuglistaller, Colby Fainga'a, Sam Jeffries, Hugh Pyle, Paul Alo-Emile, Steve Faulau, Toby Smith.