Melbourne Rebels player Colby Fainga'a.
Melbourne Rebels player Colby Fainga'a. JULIAN SMITH

Even a baby is getting in the Rebels' way

RUGBY UNION: The Rebels' hopes of building on their defeat of the Brumbies last week has been hit by suspension and injuries.

Coach Tony McGahan has made five changes - three of those forced - to the side to face the Sharks in Durban, with Dom Day (back) injured, Lopeti Timani suspended and Colby Fainga'a (pictured) remaining in Melbourne for the birth of his first child.

McGahan said he was disappointed that he could not keep a winning team together as the franchise seeks a first victory in South Africa since its inception in 2011.

"A little bit disappointing to get a good result last week and then try and create some momentum and go back-to-back and that is disrupted," he said.

"It's always important to go back-to-back and have some consistency in your play.

"All the young players coming in to that this weekend will be the beneficiaries of that."

McGahan said there were two key focuses for them ahead of the Durban match-up.

"We need to make sure we have great discipline, (and) we need to make sure that we protect the ball, from a set-piece perspective," he said.

"South Africans are built on the back of that and a really strong kicking game. How we contend with those two areas will be key."

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