Action packed pre-season for Australian sides
NEWS: The Melbourne Rebels, Western Force and Reds pre-season campaign include trail matches against each other and the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens tournament ahead of the 2017 Super rugby season.
The Brisbane Global Tens occurs on February 11 and 12, 2017 at Suncorp Stadium. The event will feature 14 teams from around the world, including ten Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby teams, along with the Bulls (South Africa), Toulon (France), Wild Knights (Japan) and Tonga.
Teams have been drawn into four pools – two pools of four and two pools of three. The top two teams from each pool qualify for knockout play.
The Reds are pooled against Auckland's Blues, hard-hitting Tama Samoa and Super Rugby's most successful franchise the Crusaders. While the Rebels will take on the Chiefs, Wild Knights, and NSW Waratahs.
Western Force head coach Dave Wessels says these trial matches are important in the lead up to next season and give the team a good chance to trial the work they have been putting in over the pre-season period.
"For us, the trials matches are another part of our pre-season, they provide us with an opportunity to test some of the things we’ve been doing and particularly put ourselves into some live contact situations.
"It’s a good yard stick for us, but as we know it means very little in the context of the season, so we’ve got to keep it in perspective and use it as part of our preparation,"
Wessels says the South West tour is a real highlight for the franchise this pre-season and is eager to get down there take Western Force rugby to Busselton.
"The big thing for us is to get out there and engage with the community, being able to take the team down there and actually play some rugby and mix with the community out there is a very important part of what we’re trying to do," Wessels added.
Melbourne Rebels General Manager Rugby Operations Baden Stephenson said: "The two trial matches, along with the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, will provide us with the chance to fine tune our preparation for Round One of 2017 Super Rugby season against the Blues in Melbourne,"
Commenting on the inaugural Tens tournament Stephenson added: "The Brisbane Tens gives us a unique opportunity to facilitate a series of trial matches against the Force and Reds on either side of the tournament,"