Encouraging signs for Rebels

Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:49
Large cadeyrn neville

Rebel Cadeyrn Neville can't help but feel encouraged by a squad that appears to be clicking ahead of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

Rebel Cadeyrn Neville can't help but feel encouraged by a squad that appears to be clicking ahead of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

The popular big lock, who has now almost completed his third pre-season at the franchise, believes that new coach Tony McGahan's transition into life in Melbourne has been seamless, and that the players have enjoyed an arduous and challenging stint under McGahan thus far.

"The transition to Tony has been really good, especially with Tony coming through into the post-season training block and then having a full pre-season schedule as well," Neville explained.

"That was a really good time to have him here, straight after the end of the Super Rugby season, and then for the new guys who have arrived since we have been able to help them hit the ground running and really get stuck into his program.

"I had worked quite a lot with Tony at Wallaby level, so luckily enough I had been exposed to the terminology and his systems a little bit before."

When he spoke of Wallaby level, it is of the training camps he has been involved in. Thus far, Cadeyrn is yet to make his international debut, however he is confident that if both individual and team performances meet the right standards that opportunity will come.

"The potential for me to play for the Wallabies is there," he says.

"It is really a by-product of what I am trying to do here firstly, where I am aiming to be in the best shape I can and also the best I can be skill-wise for the Rebels. If we are lucky enough to win a few games, then we might see a few more Rebels players getting national opportunities."

One of the most reliable elements of the Rebels' 2013 season was its performance at line-out time, and although hooker Ged Robinson has returned to New Zealand there are minimal changes to that crucial set piece ahead of 2014. Neville believes that is a positive for the franchise.

"Ged leaves big shoes to fill, and with Tom Sexton injured now Shota Horie and Pat Leafa need to be at the top of their game to make sure we keep the line-out as strong as it was last year, and get even stronger," he says.

"We can be as tall as you like but you still need to have guys throwing it to the right spot; luckily I have full confidence in both of them. Shota mostly played off the bench but he is very skilful and could definitely step up, while Pat hasn't had much of a chance yet but he has shown that he is capable of stepping up to play regular Super Rugby.

 "Having a stable second row is good; there's not much change from last year, with Sam Jeffries the only new lock. Between Hugh Pyle, Luke Jones and myself we didn't really suffer much injury, and therefore we didn't see Chris Thomson at all because he did suffer some injuries.

"The battle between me and Jonesy is massive, and it is a real benefit for the team to have healthy competition for positions. The only way that you are going to get your spot back is by playing better than somebody who is already playing well themselves, so you're only going to push the teams standards higher to try and force your way back in."

Neville is famous around the franchise for the amount of food he is able to consume, and the new on-field staff have done nothing to quell that gastronomic passion!

 "[Head of Athletic Performance] Bryce Cavanagh has come in and decided he wants me to be even bigger, so that has unleashed the landfill even more," Neville laughs.
 
 "The one that got it all started was this massive steak in South Africa when I first toured there a couple of years ago. It was a huge chunk of meat yet I finished it really easily, and even though everybody else was stuffed afterwards I went and had a thickshake as well!"

Neville admits to enjoying touring the Republic, and is hopeful that the franchise can enjoy success there at the end of the 2014 Super Rugby regular season.

"The majority of the boys love the overseas tours, particularly if they can go drama-free," Cadeyrn says.

"We have a golden opportunity in 2014 to get our first win in South Africa against the Lions in Johannesburg, and then we have to back that up with a massive challenge against the Bulls in Pretoria. They are our last two regular season games, so if we are aiming for finals at that stage they would be the ideal preparation going into that."

For the time being, Cadeyrn is focused on another solid block of pre-season training throughout January, before unleashing in the trial games in February. When this big lock lets rip, you know it's going to be entertaining!

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Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
RESULT SCORE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 37 | 17
Bath v Harlequins 22 | 12
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Sharks 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0