Coleman ready for first start after "frustrating" preseason setback

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Adam Coleman has shaken off a “frustrating” preseason setback to 2019 to work his way back to a start and the Rebels lock is ready to go against the Brumbies on Friday night.

Coleman’s 2019 start was pushed back to round three after he suffered a calf injury in preseason but the lock made an impact off the bench against the Highlanders last weekend, earnig himself his first run-on spot for the season.

“It was very frustrating because I'd put in a fair amount of work in my preseason in my holidays so to miss four weeks of running was a bit of a pain but we're back on track now, just really focused on Friday night," he said.

"it was really good to get out of rehab. I was just really excited to play some rugby again - my last game was last year on Spring Tour, so to get out there and do what I love, I really want to enjoy this year."

Coleman has been relieved of the weight of leadership responsibility this season after the captaincy was handed to Dane Haylett-Petty for 2019 and it's something he’s embraced.

“It was the coach's decision and that's his part but Dane's doing a really good job there and I still have my role within the team that hasn't really changed at all,” he said.

“I’m really happy with the leadership group and what they've achieved so far so it's really, really good to see the team thriving through all their hard work that they put in preseason.”

“I suppose not having the captaincy lets me focus on myself, a lot more narrow focus in terms of getting my body right, making sure that I'm really enjoying my football rather than having a broader focus of the team's performance or the team's perspective of how we're going.”

The Rebels edged out the Brumbies when they faced off in round one and since then both sides have had good and bad moments since, with the Brumbies beating the Chiefs 54-17 before going down to the Hurricanes 43-13 and the Rebels holding out the Highlanders 24-19 on Saturday night.

Coleman said the Brumbies' ability to pounce on errors as well as their trademark set piece strength would be the biggest dangers this weekend.

“The Brumbies over the last couple of weeks, they're a really impressive side,” he said.

"They've really stepped up their counter-attack and their set piece was very impressive, their scrums and mauls traditionally and even now they're very strong in that area, so we've got to look to take that battle up front and the boys are up for the challenge.”

The Rebels take on the Brumbies at AAMI Park on Friday March 8, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and Kayo Sports and via RADIO. Buy tickets here.