'We want to play Rugby that inspires people': Rebels out for statement performance

The Melbourne Rebels are looking to start the season strong knowing they have the platform to build major momentum heading into 2023.They will travel to Perth to kick off their season against the Force on Saturday, who they defeated by a point in their last match-up at HBF Park.With all eyes set to be on Melbourne next week for Super Round, stand-in captain Brad Wilkin is eager to pick up from where they left off in 2022.“Going over to Perth and getting a win will really kick off the season well and give us some momentum going into Super Round,” he said on Tuesday.“…I feel like this pre-season, we've had the most stability that we've had in our environment in the last three years."We've missed finals by one game here and there and you know, quite frankly, we want to make finals and push on so that's been a common theme that was spoken about.”The Rebels will be looking to unleash winger Monty Ioane, who is set to play his first game for his home state.Ioane returns to Melbourne an established International with Italy and head coach Kevin Foote was full of praise for his influence on the squad.“When you look at Monty (Ioane), he’s tattooed from the head to the ankles so he looks amazing. He looks like an art-piece with Muhammed Ali and all these icons on him but when you speak to him, he’s very calm and positive," he told Rugby.com.au“He brings that great energy for us but he’s also pretty well-spoken and makes sure that the players around him understand what professionalism looks like to him and how he wants them to play around him.“He plays the game in such a good spirit, he wants touches, he wants the ball so he really suits the brand of Rugby we want to play.”The Rebels were forced to blood a host of young players in 2022, including Junior Wallabies trio Lukas Ripley, Glen Vaihu and Daniel Maiava.Foote believes the experience will be invaluable along with the arrival of key pieces such as Alex Mafi and Anaru Rangi.“Guys like Lukas Ripley and Josh Canham, it’s their second season of Super Rugby but they’re still 21-22 years old so they have a long road ahead of them but just understanding our game model and the responsibility of a Super Rugby player, you can see they are flourishing one year in," he notes.“Those guys will be big for us and Carter’s (Gordon) included, he only turned 22 last week. They’re a young group coming through but they have plenty of experience.“Matt Gibbon and Pone (Fa’amausili) got a taste of the Wallabies, we’ve got Anaru Rangi back and Alex Mafi so we have good depth."Click Here: manly sea eagles rugby store

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