May 2, 2018 / 8:11 AM / a year ago

Rugby - Genia returns as Rebels bid to end NZ losing streak

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - Scotland vs Australia - BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Britain - November 25, 2017 Australia's Will Genia in action REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia has returned from injury in a timely boost for the Melbourne Rebels ahead of their home Super Rugby clash against champions Canterbury Crusaders on Friday.

Genia suffered a hamstring strain in the Rebels’ loss to Argentina’s Jaguares three weeks ago and sat out further defeats against the Bulls and Stormers in South Africa.

He has been named to start against the Crusaders in one of six changes to the 15 that fell 34-18 to the Stormers in Cape Town last Saturday.

“We’re delighted to have Will back, he obviously brings great experience and leads our side around the park very well,” coach Dave Wessels said on Wednesday.

Wessels has changed both his starting props and recalled former England lock Geoff Parling for his first match since the Jaguares game as the Rebels bid to end a 36-match losing streak for Australian teams against New Zealand opponents in Super Rugby.

The Rebels (4-5) have also slotted midseason recruit and former Wallabies hooker Nathan Charles straight into the matchday 23 after his return from the English Premiership.

Charles, the only known professional rugby player suffering from cystic fibrosis, has been named on the bench.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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