Rebels' big chance to show they belong
RUGBY UNION: The Melbourne Rebels have a chance to show they belong in Super Rugby when they play the in-form Brumbies tonight.
The AAMI Park showdown could be the last chance the Rebels have to convince rugby officials that they should stay in the competition next year instead of the Western Force.
But it's a big ask for the winless Rebels who face the conference-leading Brumbies.
Brumbies co-captain Sam Carter said the Canberra side was wary of a Rebels outfit fighting for survival.
"We're heading down to Melbourne fully prepared and we're not going to take them lightly at all," Carter said.
"We know they're a good team. We know the threats they have on the park."
The Brumbies stretched their winning record over Australian teams to 10 last week in the 43-10 win over the Reds.
Five second-half tries against Queensland showed the Brumbies were not just a grinding, defensive unit.
The Brumbies have made two changes with inside centre Kyle Godwin (broken hand) and No.8 Jordan Smiler (hamstring) out for Andrew Smith and Jarrad Butler.
Winger Sefi Naivalu returns for the Rebels, giving them increased threats on both sides with Marika Koroibete on the opposite wing facing Henry Speight, one of the Brumbies' best this season.
Flyhalf Jackson Garden- Bachop has been dropped to the bench, giving Jack Debreczeni the chance to start in the halves alongside skipper Nic Stirzaker.