Rebels hope Gasnier will follow Mortlock - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rebels hope Gasnier will follow Mortlock

By Melissa Woods 05/04/2010 04:42:50 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Rod Macqueen doesn't expect Stirling Mortlock to become the Pied Piper of the Rebels, but is hoping he may help lure Mark Gasnier to the new Super 15 franchise.

The former Wallaby skipper signed a three-year deal last week to join Melbourne for the team's inaugural season, bringing the number of new recruits to 10.

Queenslanders Richard Kingi and Adam Byrnes along with Welsh international No.8 Gareth Delve have also signed on in the past fortnight.

The Rebels have some promising young backs in their ranks, such as NSW's Peter Betham and Lachie Mitchell, who is currently in the UK along with another new signing, former England Test five-eighth Danny Cipriani.

However, the scalp of former league star Gasnier, who is currently playing with French side Stade Francais, would be a coup on and off the field.

Macqueen said Melbourne offered the chance for Gasnier to learn from one of the best in Mortlock, which would help his bid to play in next year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

"From his perspective he's got to have confidence in that he's going to be playing alongside players like Stirling Mortlock and Danny Cipriani," Macqueen said.

"I'm sure that would give him a lot of confidence."

Macqueen said he believed Gasnier's decision was still "a way off", but the Rebels had no issue with Gasnier delaying his decision, and it wouldn't affect the recruitment of other players despite his large playing fee.

Gasnier's Australian manager George Mimis couldn't be reached for comment.

Macqueen said the Rebels would continue to methodically assemble their playing list, with the squad not due to start training until October.

While the former Wallabies coach admitted he would be looking overseas for props, he said there was no shortage of candidates to play for Australia's first privately owned franchise.

"We're sitting back and cherry-picking the players we're after," he said.

"We've got no shortage of players who want to come to the franchise, but the reality is that we're after specific types of skills within players and also we're after players who want to come for the right reasons."

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