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Rebels' stern Super Rugby warning

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'Super Rugby is a place for men': Rebels issue stern warning on eve of Super Rugby

“Super Rugby is a place for men, it’s not a place for boys.”

That was the ominous warning from Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels on the eve of the Super Rugby season as his three Australian rivals prepare to experiment with young flyhalves.

A trio of 20-year-olds will start at No.10 in round one for the NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds and ACT Brumbies, while 52-test veteran Matt Toomua will steer the Rebels.

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It means every team has a different flyhalf to round one last season and Australia’s changing of the playmaking guard comes as a new World Cup cycle begins.

Fijian international halfback Frank Lomani and Toomua will replace former Wallabies halves pair Will Genia and Quade Cooper when the Rebels face the Sunwolves in their opener on Saturday.

Captain Dane Haylett-Petty says his club did the best job of retaining talent post World Cup and wants to capitalise on it after narrowly missing finals the past two seasons.

“We’re pretty excited about the direction we’re heading in, the club has done a really good job retaining our group so we can build off the back of last year,” he said.

“We’ve also recruited really well, we’ve got Matt Toomua who’s an international flyhalf, we’ve got Frank Lomani who is an international scrumhalf.

“Quade and Will would have been a big hole to fill but we’re expecting these boys to really step up.

“We’re not expecting to be perfect round one but we’re expecting to grow and improve throughout the season.”

Fullback Haylett-Petty admitted he was still growing into the captaincy after taking over last season but Wessels said he had great support around him.

“Dane is really enjoying having the experience and intellectual capital that is around him at the moment in the backs,” Wessels said.

“They’re really engaged and sharing a lot of great ideas and you can just see the learning of the group is going through the roof.

“That’s the beauty of having some more experienced players, particularly in your key driving positions.

“Super Rugby is a place for men, it’s not a place for boys. And Matt (Toomua) is certainly a man.”

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'Super Rugby is a place for men': Rebels issue stern warning on eve of Super Rugby
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