Rebels have a cause as they look to end on a high
THE Melbourne Rebels are determined to finish the most successful season in their five-year history in style against the Western Force at home tonight.
The Rebels have won a franchise-best seven games this Super Rugby season, and are hot favourites to win their fifth-straight match at home against the last-placed Force.
Helping the team's cause will be an unchanged line-up from last Saturday's 21-20 win over the Bulls.
"I was very pleased with the efforts of the entire squad on Saturday to secure a tough win against a quality Bulls side," Melbourne coach Tony McGahan said.
"It was a relatively easy decision to retain the same line-up.
"We're determined to secure a positive result to finish the season on a good note and take momentum into 2016."
Rebels co-captain Scott Higginbotham (Japan) and Paul Alo-Emile (France) will be departing Melbourne at the end of the season, and McGahan said their teammates were determined to send the pair out on a positive note.
Meanwhile, the Highland-ers players are not getting ahead of themselves for tonight's clash against the Blues at Eden Park.
The Blues are last in the New Zealand conference, while the Highlanders could earn a home semi-final next weekend with a bonus-point win.
Highlanders loose forward Gareth Evans said the Blues would have plenty of incentive to play well in their final game of the season.
"They'll be out to upset our chances of making the playoffs," he said.
The Waratahs have received a major boost ahead of tomorrow night's clash with Queensland in Sydney, with captain Michael Hooper re-signing with the Australian Rugby Union until the end of 2018.
For the Reds, Chris Kuridrani (pictured) returns to the match-day 23 for his first game in three weeks, taking the place of winger Chris Feauai-Sautia who has been ruled out with concussion.
- APN NEWSDESK