Starting Melbourne flanker Luke Jones says the Rebels forwards will look to bring a more physical game to Saturday night’s clash against the Waratahs.
The Melburnians were left smarting after being overpowered a Stormers outfit who were missing several starting players.
Jones says Melbourne’s forwards will be seeking to rectify their underwhelming performance, which will centre around being more physical against the Waratahs.
“I think (we need to improve on) physicality,’ Jones said.
“We were pretty poor in that area last week and that’s something we pride ourselves on.
“We felt pretty embarrassed about the way we handled ourselves (and) physicality is something we’ve got to bring to the ‘Tahs if we’re to really challenge them.”
As part of rectifying a lack of physicality, Jones says the main focus for the side has been training with a higher intensity.
“There’s been a lot of focus for us this week,” he said. “With our training and stuff, it’s been a really intense environment this week, which we’ve really needed.
“Last week, we weren’t really switched on like we should’ve been, and the consequences were the loss we had on the weekend.”
The Australian Derby clash against the Waratahs will also have a slightly sentimental feel for Jones, with the 28-year-old returning to play in his home state of NSW for the first time since 2016.
While it may be a homecoming for Jones, the flanker, along with the whole Rebels side, will be in unfamiliar territory, with the SCG hosting Melbourne for the first time in Super Rugby history.
“It’s a bit sentimental for me, but I’ve been down here for six years… (so) I’m not sure what to expect,” Jones said.
“I know we’re going for a Captain’s run around the time we’re going to play, because it’s obviously a new environment for us.”
Waratahs v Melbourne
Saturday 20 April, Sydney Cricket Ground
Kick-off: 7:45pm (EST)
Watch live on Fox Sports or Kayo