Jobs Events Advertise Newsletter

Rebels use giant prop to prepare for Reds' Super blitz

Melissa Woods -

Melbourne have used man-mountain Pone Fa'amausili as their own Harry Wilson as they prepare to host Queensland in a top-four Super Rugby Pacific battle on Friday night.

The tighthead prop has recovered from a hamstring injury but has been unable to force his way into a stacked Rebels pack, which includes fellow Wallabies front-rower and former Red Taniela Tupou.

No.8 Wilson has been a stand-out for Queensland in the opening three rounds, ranked third in the competition for carries and for offloads.

Melbourne coach Kevin Foote said he had drafted Fa'amausili, who weighs 130kg and stands at 196cm, in at training to replicate danger-man Wilson. 

"Pone was our Wilson this week," Foote said.

"We tasked him with carrying really hard in and around our guys and Pone came at us.

"He's right there chomping at the bit, but we've got a lot of depth in the front row, although I reckon Pone wants to play as a loose forward now."

While banking wins in their previous two matches, Foote is well aware of the challenge presented by the Queensland pack, who have the best line-out success in the competition and are one of only two sides not to have lost a scrum on their own feed.

Tupou will start the AAMI Park match looking to take the sting out of their opponents, while fellow prop Sam Talakai, lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and centre Filipo Daugunu are among a swag of players in the Rebels who have worn the Queensland jersey.

Foote believed the Rebels were ready to take it to the Reds, who sit one place above on the ladder in third.

"Good teams have a good set piece so I'm really excited for that scrum battle," Foote said.

"On the flip side, we're going to use our set piece as a weapon - there's a lot of belief in that."

Veteran South African-born halfback Ryan Louwrens has been in sparkling form, resurrecting his partnership this season with Wallabies playmaker Carter Gordon.

They are set for a match-up against Test No.9 Tate McDermott and teenage five-eighth Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, who is making his starting debut.

"Obviously it was pretty tough for him in the World Cup, but he's taken on more of a leadership role as well since he's come back," Louwrens said of 23-year-old Gordon.

"He's very confident now speaking in front of the whole group ... I just can tell this year he's just carrying himself really well and he's very confident.

"If he's going well, the whole team goes well."

Melissa Woods - AAP


From one coast to another, Wallam finds a touch of family in her team's Indigenous design
Donnell Wallam’s defining leap onto the game’s horizon after landing from quite...
Andrew Mathieson 24 May 2024
Culture Round bringing Indigenous communities closer to Super Rugby competition
Next to finally capping for Australia in a not-so-distant Wallabies’ future, it...
Andrew Mathieson 24 May 2024
Phil Krakouer law suit to grow into Indigenous class action against the AFL
Legal proceedings by Phil Krakouer and on behalf of his brother Jim and other In...
Andrew Mathieson 24 May 2024
Hornby backs Latrell for Origin return
South Sydney interim coach Ben Hornby says Latrell Mitchell “wouldn’t let anyo...
Martin Gabor 24 May 2024

   Melissa Woods   

Outback ceremony confirms native title for NT station
In a riverbed adjacent to an outback homestead, a Federal Court judge has delive...
Abe Maddison 25 May 2024
Hundreds feared dead after Papua New Guinea landslide
Hundreds are feared dead after a massive landslide flattened dozens of homes and...
Hornby backs Latrell for Origin return
South Sydney interim coach Ben Hornby says Latrell Mitchell “wouldn’t let anyo...
Martin Gabor 24 May 2024
New Human Rights Commission president appointed
The head of Victoria's Indigenous justice and truth-telling body has been named...
Andrew Brown 24 May 2024