The loss of the Super Rugby captaincy to Dane Haylett-Petty could be a win for the Melbourne Rebels, with star lock Adam Coleman saying it meant he could focus more on his own role.
There was plenty of speculation last Super Rugby season that the captaincy affected Coleman’s general play and curbed his natural confrontational instincts.
Ahead of tonight’s clash with the Brumbies at AAMI Park (7.45pm AEDT), Coleman said there was an upside to losing the official duties.
“I still have my role in the team and that hasn’t really changed at all,” the 27-year-old said.
“Not having the captaincy lets me focus on myself — I have a lot more narrow focus in terms of getting my body right and enjoying my football rather than having the broader focus of the team’s performance.”
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MATCH CENTRE: Live scores, stats and highlights
REBELS (15-1): Dane Haylett-Petty (c), Jack Maddocks, Tom English, Billy Meakes, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Isi Naisarani, Brad Wilkin, Rob Leota, Matt Philip, Adam Coleman, Sam Talakai, Robbie Abel, Matt Gibbon
Reserves: Anaru Rangi, Tetera Faulkner, Jermaine Ainsley, Luke Jones, Ross Haylett-Petty, Richard Hardwick, Michael Ruru, Reece Hodge
BRUMBIES (15-1): Tom Banks, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Tom Wright, Andy Muirhead, Christian Lealiifano (c), Joe Powell, Tom Cusack, David Pocock, Rob Valetini, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio
Reserves: Josh Mann-Rea, James Slipper, Leslie Leuluiaalii-Makin, Murray Douglas, Pete Samu, Ryan Lonergan, Wharenui Hawera, Chance Peni
Referee: AJ Jacobs (RSA)
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