The Hamilton side began the campaign with an 83-17 demolition of the Sunwolves in Tokyo.
But they’ve brought All Blacks stars Dane Coles, Beauden Barrett and Nehe Milner-Skudder in for the Westpac Stadium meeting with Melbourne.
Dane and Beauden were always going to come back into the starting team and Nehe would have started round one if he’d been fit, so the selections certainly aren’t form related.
The trio come back into the starting side while Reed Prinsep is also brought in as a replacement for the injured Blade Thomson at No 8.
Hurricanes hooker and captain Coles and first-five Barrett swap places with Ricky Riccitelli and Otere Black respectively after coming off the bench last weekend.
Milner-Skudder, who hasn’t started a Super Rugby game for a year, is over the hamstring strain that kept him out of the Japan trip.
Coach Chris Boyd said: “Dane and Beauden were always going to come back into the starting team and Nehe would have started round one if he’d been fit, so the selections certainly aren’t form related.”
Thomson, who hurt his shoulder against the Sunwolves, is having scans to determine the severity of his injury.
Boyd said: “We certainly took some positives away from our first match, but I think there is a realisation among the group that this week represents a big step up and we are expecting the Rebels to be highly motivated after their loss to the Blues.”
Lock Mark Abbott was unavailable for personal reasons against the Sunwolves but will come into the reserves.