Koroibete racing to be ready for Round One

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Star Melbourne Rebels recruit Marika Koroibete is in a race against the clock to be right for Round one of the Super Rugby season.

The Fijian flyer will not play any preseason matches due to a knee ligament injury suffered at training, hampering his transition into the code after five years of NRL for the Wests Tigers and Melbourne Storm.

Speaking after his team's 27-5 trial loss to the Western Force at Bond University last night, Rebels coach Tony McGahan was not concerned that the 24-year-old may be short of game time ahead of their Round one clash with the Blues on February 23.

Marika Koroibete in action for the Australian XV against the Barbarians in last year's Spring Tour. Photo: Getty Images"He’s tracking really well, he is a fast healer and we hope he recovers quicker than fast but he is going well and working really hard and we hope to have him ready for round one," he said.

"He was obviously at the Wallabies for five weeks over the Spring Tour and he really loved being in that environment, being around international players was a real eye opener for him.

"He’s come back and picked it up really well - he has some things to work on but he has some strengths that are going to be absolutely fantastic for Australian rugby."

Sefa Naivalu and Koroibete will form a formidable wing partnership for the Rebels this season. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Rebels will look to incorporate a more expansive game style this season in an attempt to properly utilise Koroibete's powerhouse style of play, in tandem with Sefa Naivalu.

"We really want to expand our game and evolve our game," McGahan said.

"Having two players such as that (Koroibete and Naivalu) and also Tom English, Jonah Placid and some other players there - that we’ll be able to play a bit different and we’ve got to work out clever ways of getting them the ball and getting them involved - that’s the key part."

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