Hodge looking for Rebels fast Super start

Melbourne centre Reece Hodge says he needs to get more involved to help the Rebels crack their first Super Rugby win of the season against the NSW Waratahs.

REECE HODGE.
REECE HODGE. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Melbourne's Test centre Reece Hodge is putting his hand up to help lead the Rebels out of their Super Rugby early-season slump, starting with the NSW Waratahs.

With the Rebels opening the season with two losses, Hodge says he needs to get more involved on Friday night when they host the Waratahs, who are also winless, at AAMI Park.

Hodge, as well as five-eighth Matt Toomua, must pass tests on Wednesday after leaving the field with head knocks during their last-round loss to the Brumbies in Canberra.

A hopeful Hodge said he wanted to make more of an impact.

"I've been a bit disappointed so I want to get more involved in the play," the 25-year-old said.

"I haven't got my hands on the ball enough so I need to find a way to get involved a bit more and help the team as much as possible."

The struggling Rebels are targeting a fast start after giving up big leads in both matches.

Last year, the Rebels started the season well only to fall away later in the campaign at crunch time.

Hodge doesn't want to leave anything to chance and says his team need to start and finish well against the Waratahs to kickstart their season.

"It's been very disappointing to lose our first couple of games, as we went into those games feeling confident," Hodge said.

"Our starts have been a bit off and you can't afford to go into a game like the Brumbies and give away a 24-point lead.

"Both as a unit and individually, we've been pretty hard on ourselves in the review and, hopefully, we can rectify things on Friday night."

The Rebels have managed only two wins from 17 matches against the Waratahs with the Sydneysiders somewhat of a bogey side.

"We always seem to have quite tight matches and, in the last four, I think we've been in a commanding position but let them back into the game.

"They will be confident of coming down to Melbourne and getting a result on Friday night."

After the departures of veteran halves Quade Cooper and Will Genia, new playmakers Toomua and Frank Lomani are still gelling.

Hodge said personnel changes couldn't be used as an excuse.

"I think a lot of teams have gone through the same thing after the World Cup so that's no excuse for our performances," Hodge said.

"Having said that, we do want to grow week to week so, after having a couple of trial matches and now two games, we're a lot better off with our combinations."


AAP