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Rebels sweat on injured stars

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    12 Jul 2018     Getty Images

The Rebels fly to Dunedin on Thursday with Coleman facing a crucial test due to an adductor strain.

The Rebels need to beat the Highlanders in order to qualify for the playoffs for the first time. A loss would give the Brumbies or Sharks a chance of claiming eighth place.

Also on the injury list is halfback Will Genia with a broken arm and outside back Dane Haylett-Petty who suffered a hyper-extension of his knee last weekend against the Reds.

Neither Coleman nor Genia have played since Australia's June series against Ireland.

Genia and Haylett-Petty did run with the side at their Wednesday training session.

Coleman attended training and had some advice for his side which has been captained by centre Tom English in his absence.

English said Coleman's leadership role rang through and the experience of his 23 Tests was evidenced in what he had to say.

"He's quite an enforcer and really drives the standards," English said.

"He gets in the young locks' ears and tells them what to expect and how to prepare for a big game like the one at the weekend."

However, the team management had been careful not to put to much pressure on the younger players in the side.

English said Coleman's message was for the side to express themselves in what will be ideal conditions for a high-tempo contest beneath Forsyth Barr Stadium's roof.

Instead of being concerned with their recent losses to the Waratahs and the Reds, the Rebels have looked at replicating what worked well for them during their three-match winning streak before the June internationals.

"The beautiful thing is our destiny is still in our own hands," English said.