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The RaboDirect Rebels commitment to the grass roots of Rugby in Victoria continues, with the Rebels taking on the Brumbies in Melbourne's inner suburb of Ashwood on Thursday 4 July, from 1.30pm.
Rebels Chief Executive Officer, Rob Clarke, highlighted that the one off match did have it's logistical challenges with timings, but was a wonderful opportunity to promote the code through Harlequins Rugby Club.
"The Rebels understand the need to constantly promote the game throughout Melbourne and Victoria, having played in Ballarat, Morwell, the City of Greater Geelong and even Hobart," said Clarke.
"The opportunity to play a premier Rugby match in Melbourne's backyard is the perfect reward for the support the Victorian Rugby Community has given the Rebels since our inception, and to play the Australian Conference leaders, the ACT Brumbies, will no doubt be an entertaining match.
"The 1:30pm time slot will allow the Brumbies to fly out that night and continue with preparation for their finals campaign."
The RaboDirect Rebels coaching staff are fully aware of this season's dynamics with the visiting British & Irish Lions, and the inclusion of this exhibition style match enables the Rebels to continue their momentum from the mid week Lions match into the final game against the Highlanders.
Rebels Assistant Coach and former Wallaby, Matt Cockbain, identified the importance of this match, not only from a Rugby perspective, but also to ensure that the local supporters are able to witness Super Rugby players in their very own backyard.
"The match is a great initiative by both Super Clubs. The Wallabies and British & Irish Lions series is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the game of Rugby throughout Australia, but it is important to recognise that Super Rugby squads need to continue to practice, as the season is far from over.
"As well as continuing our Super Rugby campaigns, we can also show the city of Melbourne and our supporters gratitude for what they have given the Rebels this season, and it's a chance for the players to interact with their fans after the match.
"Community engagement is something this Club is very proud of, and we continue to drive it through our Five Star Engagement Program.
"To be able to see international payers like Gareth Delve, and all available Wallaby players suit up and rip in only metres away from you will be brilliant. Like the good old days."
The 63 Test Wallaby also made mention of the way the code of Rugby has galvanised throughout Victoria on all levels, with the help of its local Clubs.
"The Dewar Shield has grown so much since I had a run a few years back, and all the Clubs are very keen to see the Rebels do well.
"We are grateful for the opportunity the Harlequins Rugby Club have given us to host this match in a fantastic sporting facility in Ashwood. They will invite local schools and juniors, and it will be free admission. This is an example of how the code is uniting on all levels throughout Victoria.
"I encourage all sporting fans to come down to Ashwood Oval and get 'vocal at their local' on July 4!"
The Western Force return to NIB Stadium for the second time this season and the Honey Badger wants sea of blue fans to “get your carcass on the chair”! In 2014 the Force had a slow start to the season, before finishing off strongly, and they will be hoping for a repeat after winning just one of their opening four matches this season!
The Queensland Reds are struggling with injury and form at present, and they’ve been handed another massive blow this weekend with James O’Connor (leg) & Lachie Turner (concussion) being ruled out. Suffering a 23-5 loss to the NSW Waratahs on the weekend, the Reds will run onto Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night looking to turn their season around after just one win to their name in the opening four rounds coming against the Western Force two weeks ago!