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The RaboDirect Rebels backyard match against the Brumbies has been abandoned due to the unforeseen injury toll to the Brumbies playing squad, following their historical 14-12 win against the British & Irish Lions last Tuesday night in Canberra.
The two Super Rugby franchises planned the one off exhibition style of match following the scheduling around the visiting British & Irish Lions, with both Clubs looking to continue their momentum into the final round of the Super Rugby competition.
Brumbies Head Coach Jake White was disappointed, but clear that the Australian Conference leaders would not meet the requirements to fulfil both Clubs' initial intentions.
"We are very disappointed that injuries have a significant toll on our player group and the shape of our squad over the coming weeks now looks vastly different. We regret that we cannot travel to Melbourne and play the Rebels, who are a very capable side and have shown they are a Club on the rise. The Brumbies would have benefitted from the hit out leading into the finals.
"We wish them all the very best in their final match against the Highlanders."
RaboDirect Rebels Head Coach, Damien Hill, was disappointed with the match no longer eventuating, but understood the reason behind the decision.
"This is something I know all of the players and coaches were looking forward to," said Hill.
"The Brumbies made the call late yesterday following their medical reviews, and were open and transparent from the outset.
"The reason for this fixture was to prepare and reward this city.
"Although preparation will now have to differ slightly due to the Brumbies injury toll, it doesn't change our stance in rewarding the Melbourne Rugby community, and we will be visiting Harlequins and many other Clubs with similar initiatives in future.
"The Rebels have moved their training session from VISY Park to the heart of Melbourne's sporting precinct, at the famous Gosch's Paddock from 1pm this Saturday.
"We are hoping we can get a lot families and fans down there to wish all the players well as they prepare for the biggest game of this young Club's history.
"This is a huge match for the Rebels, and I know the support of this city drives the team, and we are looking forward to meeting many of our Rebels family this Saturday, then following up with a performance they are proud of."
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!