Rebels to warm up against Samoa and the Blues

The Melbourne Rebels will warm up for Super Rugby against Samoa

Melbourne Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have announced a Super Rugby pre-season warm up match against Samoa at AAMI Park.

The Rebels will also play a pre-season warm up against the Blues in Auckland before their season kicks off on the 27th of February against the Western Force in Melbourne.

The match against a Samoan side will be the first time that Rebels have played Samoa and with their fast paced intensity should be an ideal warm up for Super Rugby.

Melbourne Rebels foundation player Laurie Weeks is looking forward to the clash.

“After a long pre-season it’s always exciting to have your first home hit out and put all of that training and hard work into practice. Samoan Rugby has a proud history and I’m expecting this game to be a challenge, they are big, fast and extremely physical in their playing style.”

The Melbourne Rebels v Samoa trial match may also be the cause of a little tension with allegiances tested off the field.

“The Rebels fans are pretty passionate but then so is the Samoan Rugby community. There might be a few fans caught between supporting us and national pride. Let’s hope the Rebels fans don’t get drowned out by cheers for the opposition.”

With over 4,000 Samoans living in Victoria, support for the touring international team is expected to be strong. A family friendly kick off time, pre-game activities for young fans and affordable ticket prices are all set to encourage a bumper start to Rugby in 2016.

Melbourne Rebels Managing Director, Andrew Cox said it was a great opportunity to reward Rebels members for their support with all 2016 Ticketed Members given free entry to the game.

“Our membership number is growing with 5,000 members already signed up and the Club on track to reach our target of 8,000. The passionate support of the Rugby community is paramount to our success and we wanted to say thank you to those loyal members and give them even more great Rugby experiences in 2016.

“For the faithful fan this is your first chance to see the Rebels in action for the year and for newcomers to the game it’s all about experiencing the excitement of international Rugby right here in Melbourne.”

For Weeks and fellow players Cruze Ah Nau, Pat Leafa, Siliva Siliva and new home grown recruit Rob Leota the game holds particular resonance with their own cultural heritage and a chance to acknowledge the importance of the Samoan community in Victoria.

Melbourne local Siliva is a firm favourite with young club players who hope to one day realise their own professional rugby dreams.

“I grew up with the game at Endeavour Hills and am fortunate to be able to play professional Rugby here in Melbourne in front of my family. The local club is not just about playing rugby but it’s a place where the community comes together.”

The Samoa trial match will also be the first occasion to see high profile new Rebels recruits in action with Adam Thomson, James Hanson, Jamie Hagan and Culum Retallick all keen to show they’re Rebel ready.

Melbourne Rebels Trial Match Schedule

Melbourne Rebels v Auckland Blues
Thursday 4 February 2016
New Zealand

Melbourne Rebels v Manu Samoa
Thursday 18 February 2016, 6.30pm kick off

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