The Melbourne Rebels have confirmed a home fixture against Samoa ahead of the upcoming 18-team Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
The match is set to take place at AAMI Park in Melbourne on 18 February, and will be the first meeting of the sides. Rebels prop Laurie Weeks is especially looking forward to the encounter because of his Samoan heritage, which he shares with a number of his fellow squad members.
‘After a long pre-season it’s always exciting to have your first home hit-out and put all of that training and hard work into practice,’ he said. ‘Samoan rugby has a proud history and I’m expecting this game to be a challenge. They are big, fast and extremely physical in their playing style.’
However, as excited as he is to play in the home fixture, Weeks is worried that Samoa might enjoy the bulk of the support on the day: Melbourne boasts a large Samoan rugby fan base.
‘The Rebels fans are pretty passionate, but then so is the Samoan rugby community,’ he said. ‘There might be a few fans caught between supporting us and national pride. Let’s hope the Rebels fans don’t get drowned out by cheers for the opposition.’
The Rebels' Super Rugby season kicks off on 27 February against the Force in Perth.
Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images