Rebels to review entire program

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Rebels will be holding a review on their entire season after a horror injury toll, coach Tony McGahan says.

Melbourne has battled injury troubles for much of the season and McGahan said while the club had identified some potential causes, they would be seeking external advice on the whole program.

“I've never been involved in anything like this over a long amount of time, through schoolboys, through A grade, through  professional for 20 years so it's just one of those things,” he said.

“There's a number of factors at play. We've got a fair handle on and six or seven different things across the start of preseason.

“It's the end of Super Rugby last year all the way through to where we find ourselves in even last week.”

McGahan said there would be an independent review across the board, after a season that fell short of a high preseason expectation.

“It’s an independent review of the whole program not just conditioning but the whole program and where that all fits,” he said.

“We think we've got some key ideas of where that's at and we'll reinforce them with an independent person.”

Tony McGahan entered 2016 with higher expectations. Photo: Getty ImagesMcGahan said the process had already begun within the club.

“We've already undertaken some discussions internally and had a look back on a lot of our stuff and we've come up with six or seven key things we can have an idea of where that's come from, and we’ll back that up with an independent person or persons coming in, which is underway at this stage," he said.

“We've just got to wait until we get through next week, then we look at some practical case studies that are in the same boat this year.”

Two players who will miss out this week are locks Lopeti Timani and Luke Jones, with both suffering concussions in the Rebels’ loss to the Stormers.

McGahan said his own personal experience showed him that concussions needed to be treated cautiously.

“It's huge and it's probably one of those things that's been at the forefront going forward over the last four or five years, in all codes, how seriously they take it,” he said.

“My young fella got knocked out a couple of weeks ago in under-10 rugby and he missed two or three weeks of rugby,” he said.

"We  gave him a week and a half and he actually came back and was at swimming training and got sick again.

“The impact, when you get close to it, you need to be very careful."