Super Rugby
Somerville set for surprise reunion
ESPNscrum Staff
February 1, 2011
Melbourne Rebels prop Greg Somerville, Melbourne Rebels v Tonga, Latrobe City Sports and Entertainment Centre, Morwell, Australia, January 21, 2010
Greg Somerville did not expect a return to Super Rugby © Getty Images

Greg Somerville will get reacquainted with some old friends on Saturday when the Melbourne Rebels go head-to-head with the Crusaders in their final trial match before their Super Rugby bow.

Somerville quit the Crusaders in 2008 following their win over the Waratahs in the Super 14 final, joining English side Gloucester, and did not expect to be back in action against his former team-mates.

"I thought I'd have my time in the UK and that'd be it," he said. "I'd exchanged texts with the guys and saw a couple of them back home at Christmas. This'll be a bit different, when I left it never went through my mind I'd end up playing them."

Somerville, capped 66 times by the All Blacks, believes that things are beginning to gel at the Rebels under the watchful eye of coach Rod Macqueen, who took the Brumbies onto the Super Rugby landscape in 1996.

"Starting from scratch three months before Christmas... It's been quite a challenge," Somerville said. "Other franchises can tinker with stuff they've done in previous years so each year is a continuation of the one before.

"For us, everyone has been involved in different environments. Some people want to do things certain things and others don't. It's taken time to mould everything together and sometimes that's been frustrating."

So far the Rebels have beaten Tonga 36-13, 54-0 and Fiji 42-27 in their warm-up games but Somerville is expecting 'another step up' when they face his former side for the only time this season.

"The Tongans and Fijians didn't have their professional players and we had to work hard to get the scores we did," he said. "Playing the Crusaders will definitely be another step up."

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