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Rebels look to Koroibete to deliver tries

AAP logoAAP 8/01/2017 Melissa Woods

The jersey might be a different colour but the Melbourne Rebels don't want to change much more about code-hopping recruit Marika Koroibete as they relish his try-scoring "x factor".

The former Melbourne NRL flyer turned up for his first full week of Super Rugby pre-season training less than a grubber kick away from where his ex-Storm teammates were running some moves.

Koroibete said not having to change cities or even training venues made the transition back to rugby union a little easier.

He is also linking again with new Wallabies winger Sefa Navailu, after the pair playing together previously as schoolboys in Fiji.

Koroibete joined the Wallabies on last year's European tour soon after playing for the Storm in the NRL grand final loss to Cronulla.

Although he didn't play a Test, he said training with Michael Cheika's Australian squad for six weeks had helped him feel comfortable in the game.

"I learnt a lot of things training with some quality players and they helped me a lot," the 24-year-old said.

Koribete is a renowned finisher, scoring 12 tries last NRL season.

Melbourne have also recruited Australian men's seven representative Pama Fou, while Naivalu has taken his game to another level, winning selection in the Wallabies.

"We're really excited about him (Koroibete) and I suppose for the Rebels as we've got some real X factor there now," McGahan said.

"We can really expand our game and I think Marika brings that finishing capability and that's something we've lacked the last few years.

"Super Rugby demands that you can score early in the phase count and Marika will give us that ability.

"He reads defence really well, carries well and has got that one on one ability to beat a man."

While Koroibete said he needed to work on his breakdown play, McGahan didn't want to over-complicate the transition.

"He's been a fabulous league player for a while and he's got a strong rugby background," McGahan said.

"We've just got to make sure we translate those environments he has been in and make sure he understands a lot of those are transferable to the rugby field."

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