The match starts at 10h15 (SA time) and will be televised live on SuperSport1.

Alberts, who-rejoined the Joburg side earlier this year after playing club rugby in France, comes into the starting team in the back row to replace the injured Vincent Tshituka.

In the front row, Pieter Jansen is handed a start in the No 2-jersey, with Jan-Henning Campher moving to the replacement bench.

The outside centre berth goes to Wandisile Simelane and Manuel Rass drops out of the matchday 23 this week.

On the bench, experienced former Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis is now back as part of the front-row cover, while the backline cover has been boosted with the return of Shaun Reynolds (flyhalf) and Springbok wing Courtnall Skosan.

The new-look Highveld side lost their opening tour fixture last week against the Waratahs in Sydney, however, they have a good record in Melbourne.

They have won each of their five previous meetings with the Rebels – including two in Melbourne – while the Rebels will be desperate to turn the tables following four consecutive home losses to teams from outside Australia.


The teams:

Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Matt Gibbon. Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Cabous Eloff, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Frank Lomani, 22 Michael Wells, 23 Andrew Deegan.

Emirates Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Daniel Kriel, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Courtnall Skosan.


Head to head:

Played: 5

Rebels won: 0

Emirates Lions won: 5

Rebels points: 108

Emirates Lions points: 174

Average score: 22-35


Match information:

Date: Saturday, March 7

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-off: 10h15 (SA time)

Referee: James Doleman (New Zealand)

Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), James Quinn (Australia)

TMO: James Leckie (Australia)