Time for Cheika to get an English lesson?
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: Centre Tom English is welcoming threats from inside and outside the Melbourne Rebels as they prepare for their second Super Rugby clash with the Brumbies within a month.
The Rebels won their round one meeting by seven points but in a quirk of the draw the teams they square off again in Round Four, this time at AAMI Park on Friday.
English will line up against Brumbies and Wallabies midfield ace Tevita Kuridrani, while he’s also feeling some heat for his starting jersey from within the Rebels with Reece Hodge making his return from injury off the bench in their last round win over the Highlanders.
Engo doesn’t think so! pic.twitter.com/R9aAsqS4YW
— Melbourne Rebels (@MelbourneRebels) March 5, 2019
“Reece has been really good at training, creating a bit of competition in the centres between Billy [Meakes], myself and him and it’s exciting to have him back,” the 27-year-old said.
“Tevita Kuridrani has been at the top of his game for a long time and he’s stepped that up again this year having a few months off over Christmas so I’m really looking forward to battling against him.”
English was in the Wallabies train-on squad way back in 2014 but hasn’t cracked a Test cap under Michael Cheika.
In career-best form, he’s putting himself up for selection again scoring two tries against the Highlanders.
With a two-point lead over the Brumbies in the Australian conference, English said it was important they rammed home their advantage.
“You can’t afford to drop your local derbies because as well as getting points, you’re taking points away from them,” he said.
“That’s key if you want to go well in your conference.”
While the Rebels are unbeaten from their two outings, the Brumbies have delivered contrasting performances in their last two games with a record win over the Chiefs and a heavy loss to the Hurricanes.
“We can’t take them lightly – they have a great forward pack, big mauling side so they will be looking to bring it,” English said
“Having just played them there will be a few tweaks here and there but the focus just has to be on us to perform well.”