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Super Rugby: Rebels and Brumbies face off in intriguing opener

The 2024 Super Rugby campaign gets underway this week and there’s an all-Aussie affair to look forward to, as the Brumbies head to Melbourne to face the Rebels on Friday.

It was the Brumbies who finished highest on the ladder at the end of the regular season last year, with the Canberra outfit claiming fourth spot.

Only Moana Pasifika finished lower than the 11th-place Rebels last season and they have a tough opener against their rivals on Friday night at AAMI Park.

WhatRebels v Brumbies
WhereAAMI Park, Melbourne
When18:35 (AEST) Friday 23rd February 2024
How to watchStan Sport
OddsRebels 2.80, Brumbies 1.44

Brumbies hope to bridge the gap

With the Chiefs and Crusaders dominating Super Rugby last season, the Brumbies find themselves in the chasing pack looking to bridge the gap.

Head coach Stephen Larkham was linked with the Australia job after the departure of Eddie Jones and the Brumbies will be pleased they have kept hold of the former Wallabies fly-half.

A trip to AAMI Park offers up a good opportunity to make a winning start to the new campaign for Larkham’s side.

The Brumbies have an excellent record against the Rebels, having won seven of their last eight matches in Super Rugby against the Melbourne side.

With that in mind, it’s little surprise the Brumbies are the 1.44 favourites to head back to the capital with the spoils from Friday’s clash.  

Rebels have work to do

With just eight wins from their last 28 games in Super Rugby, it’s no secret the Rebels have ground to make up if they are to play finals football this season.

Head coach Kevin Foote will be looking to his key players to lead from the front, especially Wallabies fly-half Carter Gordon.

The 2023 World Cup did not go as planned for the playmaker but the same can be said for most of the Australia squad that headed out to France for the major tournament last year.

Gordon will have learnt plenty from the experience and he will have a big role to play for the Rebels this season, starting on Friday night.

Skipper Rob Leota will of course be an influential figure in the team and should be a talisman in the back-row.

Australia tight-head prop Taniela Tupou adds quality to the front-row following his move over the off-season, while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto returns to Super Rugby after a single season in England with Northampton Saints.

Scrum-half Jack Maunder also joins from Premiership side Exeter Chiefs and all three players will be hoping to make an immediate impact against the Brumbies.

The Rebels, given their win rate over the last couple of seasons and record against the Brumbies, are the understandable underdogs going into this game at 2.80.

When it comes to the Line market, the Rebels are 1.91 to fall on the right side of a +6.5 head start at AAMI Park.  

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