Rebels in limbo awaiting ARU call

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Rebels captain Nic Stirzaker says his team is trying to keep their mind focused on footy as the ARU's axe hovers over their head.

The Rebels have been put on notice after SANZAAR's announced Sunday night that one team from Australia would not partake in the 2018 Super Rugby season.

The Force believe they are a 50-50 shot at survival and that has come as a shock to Melbourne.

While the ARU initially looked to pull the bandaid off quickly in nominating a 48-72 hour deadline yesterday, chairman Cameron Clyne has since revealed that will not be the case.

Stirzaker and the rest of his Rebels teammates will be left in limbo as a result.Nic Stirzaker says the Rebels are focused on notching their first win of 2017. Photo: Walmsley"We've been trying to ignore it for the most of the season but obviously that has been a bit harder this week," Stirzaker said.

"We know as much as you know so we are trying to just focus on our game this weekend.

"It's been going on for so long, it's definitely frustrating, you'd like to just get an answer and move on with it, for everyone."

Assistant coach Morgan Turinui said he remains confident the Rebels will survive.

"I don't have all the information - people way above my pay grade are deciding," he said.

"I've had enough problems trying to unlock the Brumbies defence - I will let the powers that be decide (that).Will the Rebels survive? Photo: Walmsley"We're pretty confident that the Rebels will be here.

"I was confident six months ago, I was confident a month ago and I was confident when I signed on and for me, that hasn't changed."

The Rebels have just as many on field concerns as they do off field.

They are the only winless team in Super Rugby and they will have to play well above their performances so far this season if they are to challenge the conference-leading Brumbies on Saturday.

"My thing has been to control the controllables," Turinui said.

"I was actually involved in a French club that folded due to money problems - the big lesson I learned there was to keep my head down and control the things you can control.

"Winning is never a bad thing - for both the Rebels as an organisation and the better picture."