2013 Season Preview: MELBOURNE REBELS

by Paul Cook - The Melbourne Rebels enter their third year of Super Rugby as a firmly established side. The introduction of the Southern Kings into the competition for the 2013 season removes the tag of ‘newcomers’ from their necks and with that, comes a greater expectation for them to start delivering. Seven wins across their first two seasons as an entity is far from a paltry return but when compared to their ‘new kids on the block’ predecessors, the Cheetahs (9 wins) and the Western Force (7 wins) who were both established in 2006, there is much room for improvement. They’ve lost over 130 test caps worth of experience with the departures of Mark Gerrard and Julian Huxley overseas and the retirements of Stirling Mortlock, Adam Freier, and Michael Lipman but with an influx of promising young talent and a roster containing Wallabies Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor
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