Koroibete deal to be wrapped up soon

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Rebels coach Tony McGahan has confirmed the club is looking to finalise a deal with Melbourne Storm star Marika Koroibete.

Reports have been around about Koroibete’s potential signing for weeks and McGahan said it was a situation they hoped to wrap up in the coming weeks.

‘It’s ongoing and we’d be hopeful of something getting sorted sooner than later.”

The 23-year-old has scored 39 tries in 56 NRL games, including 27 in 40 matches with the Storm.

He made the switch to rugby league after playing rugby union while growing up in Fiji, and has been touted as a potential Wallabies prospect, with his blistering pace.

The news comes ahead of the Rebels’ most important clash of their short history, with a possible maiden finals berth on the line against the Brumbies on Friday night.

While they were in touch with finals contenders last season, that a win this weekend would make them the leader of the pack is an unprecedented scenario for the relatively fledgling franchise.

“We understand how important it is and it’s our biggest game with the club really,” he said.

“We haven’t been in this position where you’ve got an opportunity to go forward and be in control going into the latter end of the season.

“From that perspective and where it sits, we’re really excited about that because there’s been a lot of hard work to get to that and even be considered that, which hasn’t been the case for the last 5-6 years.

Jordy Reid has been a standout for the Rebels this year. Photo: Getty ImagesThe back row will be the pivotal matchup for this weekend and it’s an area where the Rebels have changed things up.

McGahan said the form of Colby Fainga’a off the bench earned him a start over Jordy Reid, who will “finish off” from the bench.

“Jordy’s been fantastic. He wasn’t dropped because he hadn’t been playing well but we felt for this week Colby’s played really well when he’s come off the bench the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“Jordy started the last few and Colby’s finished off it’s just really a rotation in that regard.”

McGahan said the whole forward pack would need to lift its game against the Brumbies, who still have a strong reliance on mauls and set piece dominance.

“The Brumbies have based their game on a really strong forward pack, both technically ,tactically they play through scrum, through maul, through lineout plus their defensive capabilities there (are strong),” he said.

“How well they do there will be key and we’ve got a decent forward pack.

“We’re well coached in that area and we’re looking forward to the battle in that area.

Bonus points could play a major part in how the Super Rugby ladder turns out at the end of the season and the Rebels have added former Wallabies centre Morgan Turinui to their coaching staff, as an attack consultant, replacing Leo Crowley.

“He’s going to be with us for the rest of the season to add some value there,” McGahan said.

“He’s really excited about that for what he can add, being a Test player he’s got a lot of Super Rugby experience, he’s played, done some playing overseas.

“He’s coaching at Randwick and doing a good job.”