Sport Rebels' Super Rugby AU fixture switched because of border closures
Super Rugby Aotearoa: Team by team
Super Rugby is nearly here, folks! Super Rugby AU kicks off Friday night, followed by Super Rugby Aotearoa the following weekend. After the excellent in-depth article by jeznez a few weeks back previewing the Super Rugby AU squads I have been inspired to put a similar microscope on the Super Rugby Aotearoa squads. My method is to list the entire squad and break them down into the following segments: prop, hooker, lock, loose forward, halfback, first five, midfield, outside back and coaches. Each team was objectively ranked solely based on their personnel, which ended up as an overall team ranking.
SYDNEY (Reuters) - The venue for next week's Super Rugby AU match between the Melbourne Rebels and ACT Brumbies has been switched to Canberra Stadium because of travel restrictions in place at the border of the state of Western Australia.
The March 6 match was scheduled to be a home game for the Rebels but restrictions mean that having been in Melbourne, the team would not have been able to travel on to Perth to play a fixture against Western Force the next week.
Western Australia imposed travel restrictions on people who have been to the Rebels' home state of Victoria two weeks ago after a small outbreak in Melbourne of the variant of COVID-19 associated with Britain.
Super Rugby AU: Five major questions ahead of the 2021 season
Super Rugby AU: Five major questions ahead of the 2021 seasonThe deal was a major risk, having ended a 25-year partnership with Fox Sports as they strived for free-to-air coverage for the competition.
The Rebels spent the entirety of last season on the road because of travel restrictions and were forced to make a midnight dash for the border in a 40-car convoy two weeks ago ahead of the snap coronavirus lockdown in their home state.
Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson told The Australian on Tuesday that the long spells away from home were starting to become a significant issue for the team.
"I don't want to dramatise or catastrophise anything but it is real, the pressure on wives, partners and kids," he told the newspaper.
"I was with the team for five days and, I won't lie, I have talked about it with my board, I am really concerned about the wellbeing of some of our people."
The reverse fixture between the Rebels and the Brumbies on April 18 will now be played at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium instead of the Australian capital.
"We were more than happy to agree in swapping our home and away matches to ensure the competition was not disrupted," Brumbies chief executive Phil Thomson said in a statement.
The Rebels open their 2021 campaign against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Friday.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)
All Blacks legend slips boot into rugby referees .
All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens has doubled down on his criticism of rugby referees, stating that breakdown chaos is damaging the game as a spectacle. Mehrtens slipped the boot into the whistleblowers in a Sydney Morning Herald column headlined 'The refs simply aren't good enough and they're letting the game down.'That was in the wake of Friday's Reds v Rebels Super Rugby AU game that featured 32 penalties and a red card to Feao Fotuaika for a dangerous clean-out on Richard Hardwick.Mehrtens had some sympathy for the likes of Fotuaika and said more leniency should be given at rucks to the attacking team.