The Rebels sit in second place in the Australian Conference.
The Rebels sit in second place in the Australian Conference.

Winning could prove real financial burden for Rebels

THE Melbourne Rebels may reportedly be unable to afford to host a Super Rugby home final if they top the Australian conference.

They  sit a single point behind the Brumbies in fifth place with three games of the regular season left to play.

If they finish atop the table and earn a home final, The Australian reports, the Rebels will have to pay the visiting side about $75,000.

But chief executive Baden Stephenson denies the club is on the brink of insolvency, despite the recent departure of their chief financial officer.

"There is no doubt that things are becoming increasingly fairly tight, but I'm extremely lucky that I have an extremely supportive and proactive board," he said.

"We had our monthly meeting yesterday (Wednesday) and we have some plans in place and we are working away. We are confident of what we have in the short term. The longer term, post-2021, no one can crystal ball that."

Melbourne play the Waratahs, whose finals hopes are hanging by a thread, on Friday night, with NSW star Kurtley Beale and Rebels skipper Dane Haylett-Petty both expected to audition for the Wallabies' fullback jersey recently vacated by Israel Folau.

News Corp Australia

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