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Rebel vows to bounce back

Date

Melissa Woods

Cooper Vuna.

Cooper Vuna. Photo: Getty Images

A DEVASTATED Cooper Vuna has vowed to again bounce back after suffering a fractured shoulder that will keep him out of the Melbourne Rebels side for the first four rounds of the Super Rugby competition.

The 25-year-old winger said he had ''trained the house down'' to be ready for the season kick-off against the Western Force on February 15 at AAMI Park after undergoing a reconstruction on his other shoulder in August last year.

He made the choice to have that surgery in order to be fit for the Rebels' opener, when he could have delayed it and added to his two Wallabies caps.

During the pre-season he dropped 10 kilograms to get down to 102 and was flying in training. Although the fractured scapula won't require surgery, it's still a setback.

''I've done everything in the pre-season and done everything right with my shoulder rehab so to do the other shoulder, it's not ideal,'' the former rugby league player said.

''It could be worse but it's still a long time.''

Vuna said he was excited about getting back on the field in a new-look Melbourne backline after the departure of Stirling Mortlock, Mark Gerrard and Julian Huxley.

''I was in good shape and where I wanted to be in terms of training so I'll have to start all over again,'' he said.

''Next week I'll meet with the conditioning coach and try to get on top of it again.''

Vuna has played in 29 of a possible 32 Super games and has been the club's leading tryscorer in its two years in the competition.

He earned his two Wallaby Test caps in June against Wales and after getting a taste is eager for more.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans had been in touch after his latest injury to check on the prognosis.

The injury is another blow to the depth of the Melbourne backs after losing highly-rated Kiwi fullback Jason Woodward, who is out for five weeks after surgery on a finger tendon.

Rebels coach Damien Hill believed they could cover the loss.

''It's a big disappointment for the team,'' Hill said.

''Cooper has had a great pre-season and we could have done without this hurdle. On the positive side we have a number of first-year players that impressed in our first trial and one of them will now get an opportunity sooner than they may have expected.''

The Rebels play their final trial against the Wellington Hurricanes this Saturday at 5.30pm at Simonds Stadium, Geelong.

AAP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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