Rebels coach Tony McGahan is confident his code-hopping winger Marika Koroibete will recover from injury in time for Melbourne’s opening Super Rugby season clash with the Blues next Thursday.
Koroibete didn’t play in either of the Rebels trials in Queensland nor in their Brisbane Tens campaign due to an ongoing knee complaint.
But McGahan said the former Melbourne Storm flyer should make it on to the field at AAMI Park next week against Sonny Bill Williams’ Auckland side.
Initially disappointed to not have Koroibete with the Rebels squad early in the pre-season after he was called up to train with the Wallabies on their European tour, McGahan said that given the injury that training block was crucial to his development.
“We would have liked a bit more – to miss three weeks of an already shortened pre-season because he was away with the Wallabies – but he picked up five weeks there so we don’t discount that time in an international rugby environment,” McGahan said.
“We think with an extra few days until we play next week he will be fine.”
Test centre Reece Hodge, who on Thursday extended his deal with the Rebels until 2020, was also on the Wallabies tour and said he got a glimpse of what Koroibete could offer his Super Rugby side.
“In England with the Wallabies he did a little in and away on a few of the boys and put on the speed and it was good to see that first hand,” Hodge said.
“He’s definitely got a lot of potential in rugby if he gets some space.
“I’m looking forward to him coming back from injury and scoring a few tries for us.”