The RaboDirect Rebels took to the training field for the first time as a squad on Day 3 of their induction camp in Lorne. It was a historic milestone for the Melbourne Rebels and the players enjoyed a sunny afternoon training following a medical briefing from team doctor, Tracy Peters.
After an enthusiastic 90-minute session on the field comprising of ball skills and set drills under the watchful eye of coaches Macqueen, Hill, Bakewell and Grey, the team took to the waters off Lorne beach as part of their recovery.
Later in the day Richard Kingi, who had been training with the Wallabies in Sydney, joined the squad in Lorne. His arrival coincided with a trivia night that saw Team Yoda (captained by Greg Somerville) triumph in a hotly contested event. Then it was all eyes on the TV and Channel Ten’s coverage of the Commonwealth Games.
Adam Byrne’s partner Sophie Edington, the defending champion, was swimming in the final of the 50 metre backstroke. At 11.45 pm the race got underway and the Mantra Resort in Lorne witnessed an excited Melbourne Rebels’ squad erupt in triumph as Sophie stormed through to win the gold medal.
The final day of camp on Saturday meant more training for the Melbourne Rebels as they continue the task of building on field partnerships, methods of play and specific tactics that will make them competitive and give them an edge.
Reflecting on the camp, head coach Rod Macqueen enthused, “We wanted the players to buy into the concept of the Melbourne Rebels that we as a management formulated over the last few months. This includes the Rebel 5-star Pledge and what it stands for, how we have to operate as a team, how we represent Victoria and Melbourne, what we stand for, and how we will play the game.”
“We have stressed that this new team is not about individuals and opportunities for individuals. It is about a cohesive squad performing together. When the team is successful they will be successful. The players grasped the concept and the team ethos we wanted to create and have now taken ownership of it.”
“It has also been terrific that we have started training. Following several months of planning and preparation for the genesis of this new team it is a relief, and exciting that training has begun. After all it is about rugby at the end of the day. The players were eager to take to the field and this was reflected in the two sessions we had at Lorne,” added Macqueen.