Rugby Union

Super 14

Rebels aim to lift for Crusaders' clash

Locked and loaded: Hugh Pyle.

Melbourne Rebels lock Hugh Pyle says a brutal match-review session has left the players in no doubt about what's required in Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Crusaders.

Faumuina out for 4-6 weeks

Faumuina

Blues and All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina probably won't play Super Rugby again until May after damaging his calf muscle.

Australian team of the week

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Greg Growden picks the form team from the Australian conference. Teams in brackets followed by number of times selected.

Mitchell set to return from injury

Drew Mitchell may play against the Cheetahs in two weeks time.

Test winger Drew Mitchell will go to South Africa with the Waratahs this morning and may be up for selection against the Cheetahs in two weeks' time.

Conference call: closeness a sign of competition's growing strength

Ewen McKenzie dinkus

I was asked on New Zealand radio yesterday about the relative strength of the Australian conference compared to the rest. Everyone has their thoughts but I have found this year's competition to be one of the tightest in memory and this is more of a reflection on the strength of play from all teams as opposed to any perceived weaknesses.

Raggedy Reds crushed in the west

Western Force

Western Force have extended the woes of Super Rugby champions Queensland, thrashing the Reds 45-19 in Perth on Saturday and condemning them to a third straight loss.

Tahs have the attitude, now for the excellence

John Eales

The Liberal National Party challenger for the seat of Nicklin in the Queensland state election had to effect a 16.3 per cent swing against the seated independent to be successful but, despite every effort, this was a bridge too far for former Reds andWallabies coach John Connolly. Connolly managed a swing of about 10 per cent, which mirrored what happened around the state in a political landslide, but wasn't enough for him.