Melbourne Rebels Bill Meakes says he’s excited for tomorrow night's conference derby with new starting centre partner, Campbell Magnay.
Magnay will make his first start of the 2020 Super Rugby season against the Waratahs in the club's season opening home game.
After strong performances on the training track, Magnay has made quite the impression on his Rebels’ teammates.
“He’s been working really hard, obviously coming off the back of a foot injury and just grinding in rehab there for the first part of the pre-season,” said Meakes
“I think he hit a PB yesterday and was the quickest back in our team session yesterday, so it’s always nice to have a big boy moving that quick as well.
“He’s a huge man - it’s always nice having a big frame like that outside you,” said Meakes.
One opponent Meakes and Magnay will have an eye out for is former team mate Jack Maddocks.
The former Rebel comes up against his old side for the first time since returning home to New South Wales at the end of the 2019 season.
“He’s an unbelievable player - we’ll definitely have to keep an eye on him.
“He obviously wanted to go home and he’s ended up at the Tahs which is great for him, so it’ll be enjoyable to go against him Friday night and to catch up after.
“He’s done some great things here in Melbourne and I’m sure he’ll be looking to go one step further at the Tahs,” said Meakes.
Despite opening this season with back to back losses for the first time since 2017, Meakes remains confident following a strong second half showing against the Brumbies last week.
“We definitely take confidence out’ve the back-end of that Brumbies game.
“Recognising that we haven't started the way we wanted to but also capitalising on the backend of games, that we’ve been doing pretty well in.
“I think we’ve been building the last couple of weeks, obviously results haven’t gone our way which is pretty disappointing.
“We’ve had a really good training week, obviously the front end of this week has been really big, but we’ll try and taper off now and freshen up for Friday night and hit the ground running.
“I’m super confident that we can execute Friday night,” said Meakes.
With Melbourne’s first home game of the season coinciding with the club’s tenth anniversary, motivation won’t be hard to come by for a team looking to reignite their season.
“There’s always motivation when you’re playing at home.
“It’s extra salt and pepper on top, the ten-year anniversary, so hopefully we get loads of people down there and we put on a good show for them.”
“The fans have been incredibly supportive over the last couple of years and I’m expecting nothing different Friday night.”