British and Irish Lions 2013: Gareth Delve to lead the Melbourne Rebels but vows not to 'nobble' Lions

The Lions play their final midweek game tomorrow

Gerard Brand
Monday 24 June 2013 00:00

Wales international Gareth Delve will captain the Melbourne Rebels against the British and Irish Lions tomorrow in the final midweek game for the tourists.

Delve, the former Bath and Gloucester back-row forward, leads a side that also includes Australia international scrum-half Luke Burgess.

The Rebels are without Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor and Nick Phipps, who are all in the Wallabies' camp preparing for next Saturday's second Test in Melbourne.

Delve was capped 11 times for Wales at No 8 before he joined the Rebels in their inaugural season. He once dreamed of wearing the famous red Lions shirt himself, but the 30-year-old said that he would not be conflicted when he took to the field.

"I just can't wait to get stuck in," Delve said. "I'm certainly not going to change anything about the way I play the game, so I'm all in for that match.

"We'll all be flying in for the tackles. Afterwards, as is the nature in rugby, we'll all have a couple of beers and all have a good catch-up. But once you cross the line, it's all going to be on.

"I won't be going out to nobble anyone or to do the Wallabies any 'real' favours. My loyalty is to the Rebels and I'm still proud to be representing them. It's going to be a huge game. Once I cross the line on Tuesday night, I've got no loyalty to the Lions or to the Wallabies.

"I'm all in for the Rebels and I want us to take an unlikely scalp but one which would be absolutely huge for us as a young club."

Delve will be joined in the loose forwards by the impressive New Zealander Scott Fuglistaller and blindside Jarrod Saffy, who should make the breakdown competitive in Melbourne, and will provide the Lions with a tough match.

Damien Hill, the Rebels' coach, said: "We have been without a number of our high-profile players this season but the squad has met these challenges head on with many of the younger members getting their first taste of Super Rugby."

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