Super Rugby’s Rebels set date with Crusaders

The Melbourne Rebels have set a date with Super Rugby’s best team the Crusaders on February the 5th which is 13 days before the new Super 15 tournament kicks off.

The match will be a trial match and will be played at AAMI Park in Melbourne and will be the first ever rugby match played at the venue.

In the Super 15 Rugby draw for 2011 the Melbourne Rebels will miss out on playing the Crusaders and will kick off their Super Rugby campaign against the New South Wales Waratahs at AAMI Park on February 18.

The Crusaders have won seven of the 15 Super Rugby titles and have established themselves as one of the world’s most successful rugby union teams.

Rebels head coach Rod Macqueen says that the thought of testing his squad against Super Rugby royalty is exciting partially because the two teams would miss playing each other next year unless they met in the finals.

“We are not scheduled to play the Crusaders as part of the initial conference pool structure, but it will be a strong examination of our progress and will give us an understanding of where we are in terms of our performance levels prior to the start of the tournament,” he said.

The Melbourne have abandoned plans to play a two match tour of Japan in November but they are still considering a tour of New Zealand and practice matches against Fiji and Tonga are being considered.

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