Rebels lose Adam Coleman to injury
Sydney - Rebels lock Adam Coleman will miss his side's clash with the
Waratahs in Melbourne on Saturday due to an injury sustained while playing for
Coleman was injured early in the second half of the
Wallabies' third Test loss to Ireland in Sydney, slowly walking from the field
moments after the tourists crashed over the line for their only try of the
Scans have since revealed an abductor strain, though Rebels
head coach Dave Wessels said his captain would be a likely starter next week
against the Reds.
While Coleman and Will Genia will be unavailable, the rest
of the Rebels' Wallabies contingent are ready for a must win showdown with the
Waratahs at AAMI Park.
"They're on a massive high because it was a hell of a
series," Wessels told the Australian Rugby Union's official website.
"That's one of the best Test series that I have seen in
a long time - it came right down to literally the last pass of the game
"It was genuinely competitive, tough and I thought our
boys really acquitted themselves well.
"I thought Dane was excellent, Marika was excellent,
Adsy, Hodgey - I think it's been a special few weeks for them but it's nice to
have them back with us.
"The guys that have been with us over the last three or
four weeks have probably trained harder and been more committed than I've seen
during a similar June break.
"It's a real testament to those guys and I think it's
because everyone is excited about the week."
A win over the Waratahs would put the Rebels back on top of
Super Rugby's Australian Conference with two matches remaining, prime position
for a franchise first finals campaign.
"We have the opportunity to do something quite special
and we certainly want to try and reward the fans who have the opportunity to
potentially get into a playoff first time at our club," said Wessels.
"It will be pretty special if we can achieve that.
"We know that if we play well we can challenge any team
in this comp so our focus is just on that."
The Rebels were on track to challenge one of the best teams
in the competition - the Waratahs - last time they met, only to capitulate in
the second half.
It was a match Wessels pulled plenty from, vowing to not
make the same mistakes twice.
"We were leading in Sydney in the first round of this
contest - I learnt a lot of lessons from that game," he added.
"I said immediately after the game when we were playing
the way we wanted to play and had energy to play the way we wanted to play, we
were going well in that game.
"We just fell away more than anything based on the week
I had put together for the boys - I probably pushed them too hard.
"Combine that with the incredible heat that we had that
weekend - it just wasn't a good outing for us.
"The good thing is that we learn from those things as a
group and certainly this week guys are feeling we have had a good break."
It'll be a new look New South Wales side which travels to
Melbourne, injury forcing Michael Hooper to miss his first Super Rugby match in
six years and a possible suspension hanging over the head of Israel Folau.