Melbourne Rebels Head Coach Alana Thomas has announced her first team for the 2020 Super W season, ahead of Friday nights’ opening clash against the NSW Waratahs at AAMI Park.
It’s been a successful off-season for the young Melbourne club, with a focus on culture and comradery paying dividends towards team morale, according to Thomas.
“Preparations have gone well this year.” “We had a really targeted approach to how we ran the preseason with our camp and layout of sessions,” said Thomas.
“There was a big focus on both the on and off field culture of the team and I feel this balance has got us in a really good space leading into round one.
“Our trial matches showed this was working and the group has a really good vibe to it.”
Thomas believes embracing individual expression and pride in the Melbourne jersey will go a long way towards clinching the club’s first win in the Super W competition.
“The focus has been on us as a team and how we want to play and express ourselves on the field.
“It started on Saturday with the cap and jersey presentation.”
“The players have been working hard on the way we will play the game and know that we have a tough opponent in the Waratahs but I think, at times, we get caught up focusing on the opposition and lose your way a touch,” said Thomas.
“This group is proud of what has come before us and how they are going to add to that.”
With nearly two-thirds of the squad being new to the club, strong leadership will be an important focal point all season, something Thomas believes her side carries in co-captains Melanie Kawa and Meretiana Robinson.
“Our captains have been outstanding.
“They lead from the front; when they speak the players listen.
“The experience Mel brings across a wide playing career will help in the critical moments in the game and you can be assured that she will be in the thick of the action.
“Mere has grown as a leader and this year has support so she can really focus on leading and playing some good rugby,” observed Thomas.
Ahead of Fridays’ emotion charged double-header, Thomas had one message for her players - embrace it all.
“Take it all in. The atmosphere will be amazing and use that when you are out there.”
Melbourne Rebels Women's team for Friday, February 14 against the NSW Waratahs Women at AAMI Park, 4.35pm
- Janita Kareta
- Ashley Marsters
- Titilia Yabaki
- Brooke Saunders
- Tiarah Minns
- May Saaga
- Melanie Kawa
- Nawel Remini
- Georgia Cormick
- Meretiana Robinson
- Vani Vaaga
- Ashleigh Walker
- Nicola Emsley
- Jessica Rastrick
- Gabi Bryan
- Eireni Nanai
- Indiana Lewis
- Piper Tuifao
- Annika Jamieson
- Norma Fuaiva’a
- Sheniqua Taula
- Georgina Utia
- Tyra Boysen-Auimatagai