Coleman faces test before crunch game

12 July 2018 03:37:37 EST

Captain Adam Coleman is in doubt for the Rebels must-win game against the Highlanders on Saturday.

Coleman faces a test on his adductor strain ahead of the Dunedin clash, having missed the two rounds since the Super Rugby break.

The Melbourne franchise already have halfback Will Genia out with a broken arm while outside back Dane Haylett-Petty suffered a hyper-extension of his knee last weekend against the Reds.

The Rebels must beat the Otago side if they're to clinch a maiden Super Rugby playoffs berth, or they will open the door for either the Sharks or the Brumbies to knock them out of the top eight in the final weekend of the regular season.

Tom English, who has captained the side in the past two weeks while Coleman was absent, said the 23-Test veteran made a difference in the leadership role.

"He's quite an enforcer and really drives the standards," said English. "He gets in the young locks' ears and tells them what to expect and how to prepare for a big game like the one at the weekend."

English said the losses to the Waratahs and the Reds in the past two weeks had been disappointing, but the important thing was that the team's destiny was still in their own hands.

Flyhalf Reece Hodge said: "I think we can't shy away from the fact that we haven't won the last two games we really wanted to and put ourselves in a great position for finals.

"We close that chapter pretty quickly and get on to the Highlanders this week, because we want to redeem ourselves and we know we can do better."

The Rebels are 67/20 to beat the Highlanders, who are 1/5. The Highlanders are 89/100 conceding a 12.5-points start.

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