Rebels back Wallabies call to rest players

Melissa Woods
Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels says resting Will Genia is for the good of Australian rugby

Melbourne coach Dave Wessels has called on Australia's Super Rugby clubs to present a united front to help the Wallabies, admitting injured Test star Will Genia could have played for the Rebels against the Blues on Saturday.

The Rebels agreed to a Wallabies request not to play Genia, who has been out for three weeks with a knee injury, with the first Test against Ireland starting in Brisbane next Saturday.

Despite the importance of their Super Rugby match in Auckland, Wessels said the decision was made for the good of the game in Australia.

"If there was no Test matches next week then Will could have played but there's a bigger picture here that if the Wallabies go well that's good for everybody in Australian rugby," Wessels said from Auckland.

"And I think we're able to play well without Will, which we've shown over the last two weeks because Michael Ruru is playing so well."

The Brumbies remain at a stand-off with the Wallabies, who want David Pocock, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa rested from Sunday's Super Rugby clash with the Sunwolves.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika insists the national team needs to be put first.

Wessels said he didn't feel in a position to comment on the Brumbies' and said the Rebels situation was different as Genia was returning from an injury.

But he agreed with Cheika that all teams needed to work toward a common goal of success for Australian rugby.

"I feel strongly in Australian rugby that we need to change the conversation and start supporting each other in various ways and it's a bit of give and take," Wessels said.

"We need to start living by each other's happiness and not by each other's misery and that's what's going to change the outcomes for all of us."