Damien over the Hill

RICHARD FERGUSON updates keo.co.za followers of the latest Super Rugby news from Australia.

Damien over the Hill

Rebels coach Damien Hill is under immense pressure to start performing after the Rebels notched up their fifth consecutive loss in this year’s Super Rugby season.

Hill is out of contract at the end of the season, but he might not even last that long if his team’s performances don’t pick up. Hill has a talented crop of players at his disposal, including internationals such as James O’Connor, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Phipps and the troublesome Kurtley Beale. Yet, he cannot seem to get the team to gel and put two decent performances together.

To make matters worse, James O’Connor’s contract comes to an end at the end of the season, and rumours are that he is in talks to join Jake White’s Brumbies. O’Connor joined the Rebels from the Force, after agreeing terms with the Brumbies, so things might get interesting.

The next two matches will be key in the Rebels’ season, facing the Force away and the Kings at home the following week, two matches they need to win to resurrect their season.

McCabe returns as White rotates

Pat McCabe is set to make his long awaited return to Super Rugby this weekend, after coach Jake White confirmed the player is set to be used against the Kings. McCabe broke his neck at the end of last year, and while making his return in March for the ACT XV, he tore his hamstring which delayed his return further.

McCabe will be one of a few changes as White continues to rotate his squad in an attempt to keep them fresh. The Brumbies have only lost one match so far this season, and is fighting it out with the Reds to stay atop of the Australian conference. A good win over the Kings will ensure they stay number one for another week.

Stephen Moore, Ben Mowen, Peter Kimlin and Christian Lealiifano have been identified as players most in need of a break, and are set to either play off the bench or get the week off completely.