Young prop Fereti Sa’aga isn’t sure where he’d be without the Melbourne Rebels, imploring the SANZAAR powerbrokers to keep his Super Rugby club in the competition.
Melbourne-born Sa’aga made his Super run-on debut against the Chiefs last week after earning his first cap off the bench in Round Two.
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Rumours continue to circulate which Australian Super team, if any, will be cut from a revamped competition with no date given for a decision.
The Rebels are said to be one of the teams on the chopping block, given their lack of on-field success in the eraly part of 2017 and the challenge of gaining a strong foot-hold in an AFL-mad city.
Sa’aga says Victorians care about their rugby and will be lost to the game without the Rebels.
“When (former Wallabies captain) Stirling Mortlock and the boys came to town and said there was going to be a Rebels team, I was stoked as it meant there was an opportunity here in Melbourne instead of moving,” 22-year-old Sa’aga said.
With three young children, Sa’aga said the Rebels meant he could continue in the sport and stay close to his extended family.
He said Melbourne needed a pathway to professional rugby so players like Christian Lealiifano, Ben Tapuai and even former Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie didn’t have to move interstate to play.
“We’re hopefully here to stay and we can start paving the way for all the Melbourne boys that are keen to play for their city.”