Wallabies lock Adam Coleman to lead Rebels

Adam Coleman PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

What may be perceived as a weakness for the Melbourne Rebels could prove to be their greatest strength, according to newly-appointed captain Adam Coleman.

The Australia lock, who was one of a dozen Western Force players to follow coach Dave Wessels to Melbourne after the axing of the Perth-based club, was announced on Tuesday as skipper for the Super Rugby season.

Coleman was preferred over Test halfback Will Genia and Wallabies utility back Reece Hodge for the role, with last season's captain Nic Stirzaker now playing in the UK.

The 26-year-old said he wouldn't have to work to unify the Force and Rebels players as that had already happened.

The shared history of both clubs being on the chopping block before the Force were cut from the competition meant the players had already bonded.

"I think a strength of ours is how close we are as a team at the moment," Coleman said.

"We've all gone through some sacrifices, especially last year, and it's really brought us together."

He said many players at the Rebels, which only managed one win last season, had a point to prove starting with their round one match against the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park on February 23.

"With the Rebels and the Force, with the whole saga that went on, definitely there's some extra motivation to perform," he said.

Melbourne were soundly beaten by the Brumbies in a trial on the weekend which Coleman described as "teething problems".

He said they would be ready for their next meeting.

Coleman, who is part of the Wallabies leadership group, has captaincy in his blood.

His father, Pau'u Afeaki, who passed away when Coleman was 12, captained Tonga. Likewise his cousin, former Hurricanes players Inoke Afeaki.

Coleman said leading the Rebels wouldn't be a burden.

"There are a lot of leaders within the group, it's not as if all the weight's on my shoulders," he said.

"I will play my own game and really enjoy my footy and when I'm doing that and the team's doing that, we're going to perform well."

Wessels said that Coleman was ready for the role.

"He's a very driven guy and a tough competitor but most of all he wants to win and is prepared to work hard for it," he said.

"He should be very proud of the leader he's become."