Melbourne Rebels centre Mitch Inman leaves the Western Force defence in his wake during their Super Rugby match.
Melbourne Rebels centre Mitch Inman leaves the Western Force defence in his wake during their Super Rugby match. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

Rebels veteran blasts ARU over Super Rugby saga

RUGBY UNION: Melbourne Rebels centre Mitch Inman has fired a parting shot at the Australian Rugby Union, claiming the ongoing uncertainty about the club's Super Rugby future has contributed to a nightmare season.

Inman has signed with French side Oyonnax and will play his last match for the Rebels when they host Argentinian side the Jaguares on Friday night.

The clash could also double as the Rebels' final outing with the ARU still to decide which club will be axed from the competition ahead of next season.

Earlier this year the game's governing body revealed either Melbourne or the Western Force would be cut but the ARU is yet to make a final call, leaving players and staff in a farcical situation heading into the last round of the regular season.

 

Melbourne Rebels and Western Force players present a united front after their round 16 Super Rugby match.
Melbourne Rebels and Western Force players present a united front after their round 16 Super Rugby match. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

The Rebels have claimed it's "business as usual" but have only managed one win this season and Inman said the weight of uncertainty had contributed to their poor showing.

"I take my hat off to the younger players with what they've experienced this season with the uncertainty and lack of transparency from the ARU to us to see where our future is heading," he said.

"It's hard enough for an experienced player like myself to get my head around so you could only imagine what it would be like for a 21-year-old who is trying to start his rugby career.

"There's been a few things off the field that haven't been handled as well as we'd like them to be and that's showing with the on-field performances."

Inman, who will register his 100th Super Rugby game against the Jaguares, said he hoped the Rebels could rally in their final round game, which is also the last for coach Tony McGahan after four years at the helm.

Inman said there was a bright future for the Rebels if they survived the axe, with ARU pencilling in early next month for an announcement.

News Corp Australia

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