Mortlock named to start for Rebels

Mortlock named to start for Rebels
By Eurosport

28/06/2012 at 13:54Updated 28/06/2012 at 13:55

Former Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock has been named in the Melbourne Rebels outfit to play Queensland despite a calf strain placing him in doubt for his final rugby match on Australian soil.

The Rebels are expected to give Mortlock until Friday night's kick-off at AAMI Park to prove his fitness after suffering the injury scare at training on Tuesday afternoon.

Melbourne coach Damien Hill on Thursday selected his 35-year-old captain at inside centre, outside James O'Connor who will make his Super Rugby return from a lacerated liver at five-eighth.

O'Connor's return sees Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale revert from No.10 to No.15 and also sets up an intriguing playmaking battle with Reds star Quade Cooper.

With the 12th-placed Rebels to finish their season in South Africa, Friday's clash against the defending champions will be a home farewell to Mortlock, Julian Huxley and Al Campbell.

Both fullback Huxley and lock Campbell have been named on the bench while Adam Freier will start at hooker ahead of Ged Robinson.

The Reds have made two changes to the starting side which beat the Brumbies 13-12 in their last Super Rugby clash in late May.

Injured skipper James Horwill has been replaced by Adam Wallace-Harrison in the second-row while Jake Schatz will start in the back-row instead of Beau Robinson.

Radike Samo has been recalled to the bench, as has utility back Ben Lucas after overcoming his injury concerns.

Rebels: Kurtley Beale, Mark Gerrard, Mitch Inman, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Cooper Vuna, James O'Connor, Nick Phipps; Gareth Delve, Hugh Perrett, Tom Chamberlain, Hugh Pyle, Cadeyrne Neville, Jono Owen, Adam Freier, Nic Henderson. Res: Ged Robinson, Rodney Blake, Al Campbell, Tim Davidson, Nic Stirzaker, Lachlan Mitchell, Julian Huxley.

Queensland: Luke Morahan, Dom Shipperley, Anthony Faingaa, Mike Harris, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia (capt); Scott Higginbotham, Liam Gill, Jake Schatz, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Res: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Radike Samo, Beau Robinson, Ben Lucas, Chris F'Sautia, Nick Frisby.