Huxley issues challenge to Rebels' backs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Huxley issues challenge to Rebels' backs

Melissa Woods 21/04/2011 03:16:51 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's Julian Huxley says the under-performing backs owe it to their forwards to lift for their Good Friday Super Rugby clash against the rampant Auckland Blues.

The Rebels are looking to rebound from a 40-18 loss to the Highlanders - a performance which coach Rod Macqueen described as on par with the worst of their debut season.

Huxley is returning at fullback after a month sidelined with continuing issues with his osteitis pubis, which disrupted his pre-season.

With Blues coach Pat Lam revealing they plan to target Rebels five-eighth Danny Cipriani, Huxley's prodigious kicking talent will certainly be called into play.

"It's been a bit frustrating that even when I've played I've had to manage it," he said ahead of their final training session before the North Harbour Stadium match.

"I've never really experienced playing with injury before but I'm feeling the best I've felt this weekend for a long time."

His comeback means more positional switches for the Rebels, who due to injuries more than form have yet to field the same backline in successive games.

But the former Wallaby says it's no excuse for the inconsistent form of the backs.

"The forwards have been fantastic this year and we've got to lift our form as a backline to support them," he said.

"In a perfect world we'd have the same team together week in, week out but if we can get a bit of luck in the back half of the year hopefully we can keep the backline together."

While the Rebels have won three matches the Blues have chalked up six victories, one draw and only one defeat.

With looming clashes against NSW, the Reds and then two matches in South Africa, it marks the start of a key period for the Melbourne outfit, which Huxley believes will define their side.

"I think last week really hurt us as a team because the way we lost, we were out-enthused and our attitude was off.

"Regardless of results for the next month we're just looking todefine what the club's about.

"It's not necessarily about winning it's about setting in stone that the the team, every time it goes out, it gives a really honest reflection in its performance of what we stand for.

"We might get beaten by a better team on the day but the effort and attitude need to be there."

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