27 Mar 2015

Samo returns to face Hurricanes

11:52 am on 27 March 2015

Former Wallaby cult figure Radike Samo is in line for his Melbourne Rebels debut against the Super Rugby-leading Hurricanes after being named on the bench.

Wallaby cult figure Radike Samo.

Wallaby cult figure Radike Samo. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The evergreen lock has been rushed into the squad for Friday night's match in Wellington after scoring two tries in Melbourne club rugby at the weekend following his return from Japan.

Samo, 38, said he wanted one last crack at Super Rugby after 68 caps with the Brumbies and Reds, while he also played 22 Tests.

Rebels centre Mitch Inman believes they're playing their best rugby - but they need to do so for longer to match the Hurricanes.

Inman rates the Rebels' opening 30 minutes against the Lions last round as the best in their five-season history, but says mental lapses proved costly.

In his 50th game for the Rebels and preparing to match up against powerhouse All Black inside centre Ma'a Nonu, Inman says they can't afford to lose concentration again.

"Our foundations are there - we've just got to stick the course," Inman says. "I think we're competitive with most teams; we've shown that with the Waratahs and Brumbies, but we just need to stay switched on, especially in that 70-80 minute mark."

Inman says the players are frustrated and disappointed to have let the Lions game slip away and saw their clash with the competition pace-setters as the perfect way to put it behind them.

While the Hurricanes are resting All Blacks trio, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett and Ben Franks, the Rebels won't take them any more lightly.

"They are well stocked with All Blacks in that side and there's plenty of x-factor and they've gone a bit better with their defence," Inman says.

"They're scrambling well and they're playing more as a team and as a good unit and that's shown with their five wins and no loss record."