Rea doesn't regret honest blast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rea doesn't regret honest blast

Ed Logue 19/05/2011 04:29:17 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies skipper Rocky Elsom will play his first match in six months for the Brumbies on Saturday as coach Tony Rea waits to see how his team responds to his stinging criticism.

Rea named Elsom to start the Super Rugby match against the Western Force in Perth at blindside flanker as he makes his long-awaited return from a lingering hamstring injury.

And while the struggling Brumbies have trained strongly during the week since Rea publicly questioned their fortitude, the coach says the real proof will be in their efforts against the Force.

"Chatting is nothing," said Rea on Thursday.

"The words are already done, it is about the actions this Saturday night."

Rea accused his players of not having any fight when the going gets tough after their 29-20 home loss to the bottom-placed Lions last Saturday left them with a 2-9 season record.

He wasn't backing away from it on Thursday.

"I don't regret honesty," he said.

The coach gave his players some tough love by holding training at 9pm on Tuesday night in temperatures around five degrees.

"Pretty easy to quit out there in training and no one did," he said.

However he said commitment from the training paddock had to be replicated on matchday or the effort was wasted.

"Everything the game throws at them they are capable of handling," he said.

"They just have to handle that now, that is their challenge.

"The intensity at training has to be there for the whole game."

Injuries forced Rea to make several changes as well as bring in Elsom for his first game in 2011.

Elsom replaces the injured Mitchell Chapman.

Hooker Huia Edmonds, prop Salesi Ma'afu and No.8 Ita Vaea were the other weekend casualties unavailable against the Force.

Anthony Hegarty takes Edmonds' reserve hooker spot while Jerry Yanuyanutawa will be back-up prop.

Julian Salvi starts at No.8 to replace Vaea.

Henry Speight starts on the wing, swapping his spot on the bench with Andrew Smith.

Lock Mark Chisholm marks his 100th Super Rugby match with the Canberra-based side by returning to the starting line-up with Peter Kimlin moving to the bench.

"It would be pretty disappointing to rack up 100 games for the club on the bench," said Chisholm who has announced a two-year deal with French club Bayonne following this domestic season.

The lock is just one of several senior players leaving Canberra in 2011.

Captain Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Edmonds, Ma'afu, Chapman and probably Elsom will leave the capital once the Super season for the Brumbies ends on June 18.

That's a total of 268 Test caps leaving the franchise.

"It will be a changing of the guard," Chisholm said.

"The great thing is the young players coming through are learning off the old blokes - obviously a little bit of fresh faces with a new fresh attitude."

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