No drinking culture at Rebels: Gerrard - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No drinking culture at Rebels: Gerrard

Melissa Woods 16/04/2011 05:45:23 PM Comments (0)

Rebels veteran Mark Gerrard says his Super rugby side doesn't have a problem drinking culture.

Gerrard scoffed at the accusation that Melbourne players need to be "reined in" and suggested it came from disgruntled sources in NSW.

"That's from NSW papers is that right?"

"We just signed Kurtley Beale so that's what I put into that," Gerrard said of Melbourne luring the Test fullback from the Waratahs from 2012.

"There's always been that rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne."

Gerrard didn't proclaim the entire squad was a bunch of cleanskins and indeed the Rebels English five-eighth Danny Cipriani is a regular in the social papers.

At the start of the season Cipriani was tossed from a nightclub after stealing a bottle of vodka in the early hours of the morning.

But Gerrard, speaking after his side's awful performance in their 40-18 loss to the Highlanders, said there wasn't a grog culture.

"We pride ourselves on being a tight-knit group and our culture is not that of going out and partying all the time, that's not us.

"Some boys may choose to do what they choose to do but if you look at most of the team, we've all got kids so I don't know where the grog culture comes out."

The Rebels continue to deny reports that Force wunderkind James O'Connor has already signed to join Beale in Melbourne and it will be officially unveiled on Monday.

The Force issued a statement on Friday night that they still hoped to retain the Test performer.

"The Emirates Western Force is continuing negotiations with James O'Connor's management with both parties committed to the process," the statement said.

The 20-year-old himself tweeted: "Interesting - only headlines expecting on Monday is big win for the Force, reports not right!"

O'Connor would be an ideal replacement for Cipriani, who continues to be linked with UK and French rugby clubs but Repel's coach Rod Macqueen believed the English Test hopeful would honour his two-year deal.

"I know there's speculation out there and that's always going to happen with someone like Danny," Macqueen said.

"From our point of view he's doing well and we're happy with his form and he's happy to be here.

"He's certainly different, and the way he plays is different, he's a very talented player and we're happy to have him."

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