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Rebels confront Super Rugby speculation

NZN 13/04/2017 Ben McKay

Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan has held clear-the-air talks with his players as their Super Rugby D-Day gets closer.

The all-consuming speculation around the future of the Australian franchises has overshadowed the Rebels' crunch clash with the Brumbies on Saturday night.

Any day now the Rebels or the Western Force are expected to be booted from the competition.

McGahan has done his best to shield his side, staff, and their loved ones from the decision but this week the dam has burst.

"We certainly haven't addressed it previous to this week because we have no control," he said.

"We had to address it on Tuesday with them (the ARU) coming out on Monday with no decision and a change of decision to have no decision for longer.

"When you have uncertainty about your position and you've moved interstate and you could be out of a job and you need to move somewhere else ... partners, their jobs, kids in schools, all those sorts of things aren't easy and those things prey on minds.

"We talk about the players but we have we 20 staff down here that (have) the same emotional attachment.

"We had to address it. We've addressed it once and that's the end of it."

McGahan says he's confident his side will be spared the axe but he "doesn't know what to expect".

"We've been given some great confidence with regard to our ownership with Andrew Cox," he said.

"We have great facilities. We have a great network of players coming through.

"We've got a lot of great things here."

McGahan says a win over the Brumbies would be a big boost for the Rebels amid the uncertainty.

"We possibly haven't been on the front foot with the local media, like the Force and Brumbies have, but we've got as much passion as anyone," he said.

"That's why it has been disappointing not to play well.

"We need to make sure we get a result this weekend."

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