Super Rugby guide: The stars, recruits and rookies to lead Australia’s revival mission

Super Rugby guide: The stars, recruits and rookies to lead Australia’s revival mission

There is far more on the line than Super Rugby Pacific glory when the Australian sides launch their campaigns this weekend.

This season could be what defines the long-term success of the game on our shores, and begin to restore faith among the nation’s rugby union pundits that a bright future is on the horizon.

We have broken down the men and factors that hold the key to salvaging rugby from the doldrums of a forgettable 2023.

Queensland Reds

Queensland Reds co-captain Tate McDermott has provided an insight into the “multi-threat” antics his side will seek to implement in 2024.

Tate McDermott has become a regular figure in the Wallabies set up.

Tate McDermott has become a regular figure in the Wallabies set up. Credit: Getty

The Wallabies’ halfback showed signs a destructive personal campaign was ahead, seen regularly running the ball with vigour in trials against the Force and Waratahs.

It is a game plan the skipper has vowed to stick to in a bid to add a lethal dynamic to his side’s attack.

While McDermott was adamant there was little to read into the Reds’ preseason exploits, he said most pleasing was the defence on show.

Across both clashes, two off-the-cuff tries from the Force and a Waratahs penalty try in the 32-7 win over NSW were the lone Queensland line breaches.

“We want to be we need multi-threat, so halfbacks running, 10s running, we’ve got to get the balance right between our momentum plan with our kicking, but it’s part of my game, and I’ll continue to do it,” McDermott said of his willingness to run the ball.

“If you watch our second half [against the Waratahs] we were a little bit off the pace there. What we’ve learned in the years past is 30 minutes of good rugby against the better teams don’t win you games.

“But I’m optimistic about how we played, in particular how we defended, it was something we can rely on.”

Melbourne Rebels

Wallabies forward Rob Leota will undergo a trial by fire as Melbourne Rebels captain, but believes the off-field crisis which has gripped the club will galvanise the playing group.

Having missed much of last season due to a ruptured achilles, the 26-year-old admits it was challenging watching from the stands as his side slumped to second-last on the ladder.

Now, the outfit’s future is clouded in financial uncertainty, with even Rugby Australia yet to determine what their outlook is beyond 2024.

Melbourne Rebels captain Rob Leota.

Melbourne Rebels captain Rob Leota.Credit: Getty

But Leota said as daunting as a captaincy task it was to keep the group focused, they were determined to remain aligned and disengaged from the chaos behind the scenes.

“The only thing we can do is control what we can control, and that is rocking up each and every day, perfecting our game plan and what we’re trying to do come round one,” Leota said.

“The biggest thing is messaging, and obviously supporting each other as well – highs, lows, it doesn’

…. to be continued
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