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Mortlock to miss last home game

Retiring Rebels skipper Stirling Mortlock.

Retiring Rebels skipper Stirling Mortlock. Photo: Mal Fairclough

MELBOURNE Rebels skipper Stirling Mortlock is set to miss his final game in Australia despite the club maintaining that the retiring veteran would be given until the last possible moment to be declared fit for tonight's clash against the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park.

Mortlock could not train for a second day yesterday because of calf soreness and is poised to watch from the sidelines with Lachlan Mitchell set to come into the team at inside centre as the 35-year-old's replacement.

But Rebels coach Damien Hill yesterday maintained Mortlock would be given every chance to participate in his Australian swansong, with the Rebels' final two games against the Lions and the Stormers in South Africa.

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''We made the decision to give him to the last minute more or less, so he'll warm up with the team and he's still a 50-50 chance, to be honest,'' Hill said.

''The medical staff are confident but we all know Stirlo's injury history with his calf so we'll just have to wait and see.

''We could train him [yesterday] but the advantages of another 24 hours' recovery for him outweighs the need for him to train … and while its a distraction we've had these things all through the season and the guys deal with it pretty well.''

Mortlock has had a glittering but injury-affected career with his body failing him before a major occasion several times. He missed the Brumbies' Super 12 wins in 2001 and 2004 because of injury and lost the Wallabies captaincy in 2009 after damaging his knee in a Tri-Nations clash against South Africa.

''My whole career has been plagued by injuries and it looks like it's played a part in my farewell home performance,'' he told radio station Gold 104.3. ''It's very frustrating … but nonetheless I'll try everything we can to get out there and play.

''I'm in the lap of the rugby gods.''

Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie yesterday said Mortlock should not try to ruin the rest of his farewell season by risking himself in their Super Rugby clash tonight. But he said he expected Mortlock would put the team first.

''We all get excited about the last home game etc, but they've got a couple more games to go in South Africa,'' McKenzie said.

''You can ruin yourself and miss out on the last two games.'' Tonight's game also marks the final Rebels home game for several other players, including Al Campbell and Michael Lipman, who are retiring, and Julian Huxley who is set to play in France.

Meanwhile, the Rebels will have Wallaby stars James O'Connor (lacerated liver) and Kurtley Beale (shoulder) back in the team against the Reds.

O'Connor has been named five-eighth while Beale, who wore the No. 10 jersey while O'Connor was injured, has reverted to full-back.

However, while the presence of O'Connor and Beale magnifies the Rebels' attacking threats, Hill said the 11-6 loss to the Reds at Suncorp Stadium earlier this season had shown that defence was the way to beat the defending Super Rugby champions, who must win the next three games to have a chance of making the semi-finals.

The Reds this time have mercurial playmaker Quade Cooper at five-eighth after he missed the round-three game because of a knee injury.

''We came so close in that game and the thing that stood out for me was our defence,'' Hill said.

''If we can bring that quality defence from that game to this game we'll be competitive … with the ball in hand he [Cooper] is a genuine threat. He's got the acceleration, the speed and the sleight of hand to really break lines so then guys know that when he's got ball in hand he's the target, not any thing around him, he's the target, so we've got to make sure that we don't give him the space that he looks for.''

Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8vs HUR 22 Report Stats
BLU 18vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29vs CHT 35 Report Stats
BUL 17vs STO 29 Report Stats
WAR 13vs FOR 25 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13vs HUR 17 Report Stats
HIG 20vs CRU 26 Report Stats
RED 18vs FOR 6 Report Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27vs BLU 16 Report Stats
SHA 29vs LIO 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19vs STO 22 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 10vs LIO 13 Report Stats
RED 5vs WAR 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 20vs BUL 39 Report Stats
STO 29vs SHA 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 34vs LIO 6 Report Stats
HIG 26vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED 0vs BRU 29 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO 19vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10vs SHA 27 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 25vs FOR 24 Report Stats
SHA 12vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28vs BRU 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36vs REB 12 Report Stats
RED 17vs LIO 18 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 37vs CHT 27 Report Stats
HIG 39vs STO 21 Report Stats
WAR 23vs BLU 11 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA 15vs FOR 9 Report Stats
BUL 31vs CRU 19 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR 25vs STO 20 Report Stats
REB 23vs RED 15 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF 23vs BLU 16 Report Stats
BRU 20vs CHT 3 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA 10vs CRU 52 Report Stats
LIO 22vs BUL 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU 16vs BRU 14 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 20vs HIG 25 Report Stats
WAR 18vs STO 32 Report Stats
FOR 15vs CHT 24 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 23vs SHA 21 Report Stats
BUL 43vs RED 22 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 9vs CHF 26 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR 24vs WAR 29 Report Stats
HIG 30vs BLU 24 Report Stats
BRU 8vs REB 13 Report Stats
FOR 6vs STO 13 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA 10vs BUL 17 Report Stats
CHT 17vs RED 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 35vs FOR 27 Report Stats
BRU 31vs HIG 18 Report Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 29vs BLU 15 Report Stats
WAR 18vs REB 16 Report Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 34vs CHT 29 Report Stats
STO 15vs BUL 13 Report Stats
RED 19vs HUR 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 48vs SHA 15 Report Stats
BRU 10vs WAR 13 Report Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 41vs FOR 24 Report Stats
HUR 29vs CRU 23 Report Stats
REB 16vs CHF 15 Report Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 25vs STO 17 Report Stats
BUL 35vs LIO 33 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 58vs RED 17 Report Stats
REB 42vs BLU 22 Report Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 32vs SHA 24 Report Stats
FOR 18vs WAR 11 Report Stats
LIO 28vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 25vs BRU 24 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 23vs BUL 18 Report Stats
RED 46vs REB 29 Report Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 22vs CHF 18 Report Stats
WAR 33vs SHA 18 Report Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO 20vs BRU 30 Report Stats
CHT 24vs HIG 45 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF 34vs BUL 20 Report Stats
RED 14vs SHA 21 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 5vs HUR 29 Report Stats
WAR 32vs CRU 22 Report Stats
FOR 3vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 17vs LIO 40 Report Stats
STO 31vs REB 15 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 35vs HUR 18 Stats
BRU 22vs BUL 16 Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA 25vs REB 21 Stats
HIG 0vs CHF 0 17:35Rugby Park
FOR 0vs RED 0 19:40nib Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 0vs CHT 0 01:05DHL Newlands
LIO 0vs WAR 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR 0vs HIG 0 17:35McLean Park
FOR 0vs BRU 0 21:00nib Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB 0vs BUL 0 15:30AAMI
BLU 0vs CRU 0 17:35EP
RED 0vs CHF 0 19:40SS
CHT 0vs WAR 0 23:00FSS
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
STO 0vs LIO 0 01:05DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU 0vs HIG 0 17:35EP
REB 0vs FOR 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
BRU 0vs CRU 0 15:30GIO Stadium
CHF 0vs HUR 0 17:35Yarrow Stadium
WAR 0vs RED 0 19:40AS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
BUL 0vs CHT 0 01:05Loftus Versfeld
SHA 0vs STO 0 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
View All Fixtures
Super Rugby 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Hurricanes 14 12 2 0 126 57
Brumbies 14 8 6 0 108 42
Stormers 13 9 4 0 42 38
Chiefs 13 9 4 0 87 44
Waratahs 13 9 4 0 50 41
Lions 14 8 6 0 -27 36
Highlanders 13 9 4 0 89 43
Bulls 14 7 7 0 23 36
View all
 
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