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By Caroline Teague
Clyde Rathbone will tonight make his highly anticipated return to the University of Canberra Brumbies starting XV in a must win game against the Melbourne Rebels at GIO Stadium.
Tonight’s contest will be Rathbone’s first Super Rugby game since playing in last year’s final against the Chiefs due to a hamstring injury.
The South African born player cemented his place in tonight’s team after injury and illness left Joe Tomane and Robbie Coleman ineligible for selection.
Coming off of a disappointing South African tour with losses to both the Cheetahs and the Bulls, the UC Brumbies are looking to make a comeback this weekend against the Rebels and are hoping veteran Clyde Rathbone can help get the job done.
Director of Rugby Laurie Fisher was confident in Rathbone’s selection and his direct running game with teammate Pat McCabe
“We are certainly looking for a bit of power in the carry from those two guys - and that’s what they’re good at,” Fisher said.
“Clyde’s got a load of experience…he’s a whole hearted player. It’s about going back to our systems tonight and making them work. We’ve done plenty of work on our defence this week so I’m sure we will see an improved performance.”
No stranger to injury, Rathbone has come to value every second he has on the field.
“You never know when it might be your last game…I told myself every game this could be your last opportunity and you try and play as well as you can and give everything for the team,” Rathbone said.
The last three regular season games are crucial for the ACT side, however, they are of particular importance to Rathbone who has confirmed that retirement is an option come season’s end.
“The more I think about it this will probably be my last year in rugby and I want to make it a good one over the last few games” said Rathbone.
Rathbone will with an impressive track record clocking up over 60 Super Rugby caps as well as an impressive stint representing Australia as a Wallaby.