From friends to foes
ELEVEN players who have been training together in the Wallaby camp this week will become foes tonight when the Rebels go head-to-head with the Brumbies at Melbourne's AAMI Park.
Cadeyrn Neville, Nick Phipps, Hugh Pyle and Cooper Vuna will line-up for the Rebels against the Brumbies contingent of Pat McCabe, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Jesse Mogg, Joe Tomane, Michael Hooper and Nic White.
"There has been a bit of banter in camp ahead of the game," Rebels halfback Nick Phipps laughed.
But you can be sure it won't be any laughing matter tonight.
The Rebels are smarting after their 66-24 loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington last week, while the Australian Conference-leading Brumbies will also be looking to bounce back after losing to the Reds by a point.
Brumbies coach Jake White has made changes to his backs and forwards for the clash.
The most notable is Colby Faingaa, who has been called onto the bench for the first time this year.
White said Faingaa, who suffered an ankle injury in February, had turned in a series of strong performances for his club side and deserved to get the nod.
Dan Palmer, who was also in camp with the Wallabies, has been rested so Ben Alexander will switch to tight-head prop with Ruaidhri Murphy starting at loose-head.
Robbie Coleman has earned his second start of the year at fullback, with Jesse Mogg moving to the wing.
Former Wallaby Mark Gerrard gave the injury-hit Rebels a boost yesterday after being selected just a week after he was on the receiving end of a big hit to his sternum by Hurricanes enforcer Motu Matu'u.