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PREVIEW: Hurricanes v Rebels

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016    allblacks.com    Getty Images

TALE OF THE TAPE
Although both teams come into this contest with 4-2 winning records, the Hurricanes have been more dynamic with three try-scoring bonus points compared to just one by the Rebels. To underline their hot form, the Hurricanes have scored 40+ points in their last three games for the first time since 1997. The Rebels are fresh from a bye and will take confidence from a famous away victory over the Waratahs in round six.
NEW LOOK MIDFIELD
The exciting pairing of Vince Aso and Matt Proctor will combine in the Hurricanes midfield for the first time. With Ngani Laumape dropped to the bench to help manage a lower leg injury, Aso takes his place at second-five while the vibrant Matt Proctor moves in from wing to centre. With both players known for their powerful ball running and explosive pace, expect plenty of excitement from this dashing duo.

BARNSTORMING BALL RUNNERS
Is there any team in Investec Super Rugby with more devastating forward ball runners than the Hurricanes? Arguably not when looking at the explosive loose forward trio of Victor Vito, Ardie Savea and Brad Shields. But the hard running doesn’t stop there with the rampaging Vaea Fifita at lock and dynamic Dane Coles at hooker. The Rebels forward pack cannot afford to drop their guard if they are to keep the Hurricanes ball-runners under control. 

UNCHANGED REBELS
After stunning the Waratahs in round six, the Rebels enjoyed a bye last week and have named an unchanged side to take on the Hurricanes at home. Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan said: “The win against the Waratahs before the bye was huge for the club but we need to capitalise on the result with another spirited performance against the Hurricanes to kick off an important three weeks for the side.”
TEAMS
Rebels: 15: Reece Hodge 14: Dom Shipperley 13: Tamati Ellison 12: Mitch Inman 11: Cam Crawford 10: Jack Debreczeni 9: Nic Stirzaker (C) 8: Adam Thomson 7: Sean McMahon 6: Jordy Reid 5: Lopeti Timani 4: Luke Jones 3: Laurie Weeks 2: James Hanson 1: Toby Smith
Reserves 16. Pat Leafa 17. Cruze Ah Nau 18. Jamie Hagan 19. Sam Jeffries 20. Scott Fuglistaller 21. Ben Meehan 22. Dan Hawkins 23. Sefa Naivalu

Hurricanes: 15: Jason Woodward 14: Cory Jane 13: Matt Proctor 12: Vince Aso 11: Julian Savea 10: Beauden Barrett 9: TJ Perenara 8: Victor Vito 7: Ardie Savea 6: Brad Shields 5: Michael Fatialofa 4: Vaea Fifita 3: Jeff To’omaga-Allen 2: Dane Coles (C) 1: Reggie Goodes
Reserves: Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Ben May, Mark Abbott, Tony Lambourn, Jamison Gibson-Park, Otere Black, Ngani Laumape