Debreczeni to get flyhalf nod

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Jack Debreczeni will get the nod at flyhalf for the Rebels when they take on the Reds this Friday, coach Dave Wessels says.

Debcreczeni started at 10 against the Waratahs, while youngster Jack Maddocks started in their first trial against the Brumbies, as Wessels grooms him for a playmaker spot.

Maddocks had some time at flyhalf again last Thursday and Wessels said he would have more opportunities there in the coming weeks, but Debreczeni would be the first choice.

“Jack Debreczeni will start for us at 10,” he said.

“I think he did a good job against the Waratahs and he came on and made a difference against the Brumbies.

“I think he's got certain abilities that will unleash other parts of our team, which is good.

“I also feel really confident in young Jack Maddocks - he's trained a lot for us at 10 and he's only a young guy but he'll definitely get some game time at 10 in the next couple of weeks.”

Things have come full circle for Debreczeni, who was seemingly on the outer in 2017, playing mainly fullback and ultimately released for a season in Japan.

The 24-year-old has found his way back to a contract with the Rebels outside of their core squad and into the starting 10 spot.

It’s a return Wessels said was about Debreczeni discovering a joy in playing rugby.

“I know having coached against him for many years, we'd spend a lot of time planning about how we were going to defend against some of the things he could do, particularly his kicking game,” he said.

“He's got a lot of special talents.

“I think it's probably just a time over the last year or two he just wasn't enjoying his rugby and he's admitted as much and he went away from Japan, probably cleared his head a little bit and has come back and is really enjoying his training, he's got a smile on his face and I think that's made the difference to his performances.”

Jono Lance will play at 10 on Thursday night. Photo: Getty ImagesJust a month ago former Force 10 Jono Lance had appeared the primary contender to take the playmaking reins, before the Rebels agreed to a release to send him to Queensland.

Former schoolboy star Jack McGregor was also shaping as an option, but a hamstring injury has hampered his progress.

The Rebels look set to welcome back a host of Wallabies for round one, with Will Genia (back) and Billy Meakes (foot) shaping up to be fit for the Reds clash.

Winger Marika Koroibete may miss up to another fortnight with a knee injury, while Dom Shipperley’s future is under a cloud after another knee knock last week.

The Rebels host the Reds on Friday February 23, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT. Buy tickets here.