Rodzilla out to make most of shot with Rebels

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

HE still bears the nick­name Zilla, but Rod­ney Blake is a now a very dif­fer­ent beast.

Blake will make his Su­per de­but for the Mel­bourne Rebels against the Hur­ri­canes at AAMI Park to­mor­row night, start­ing at loose­head prop in place of the rested Nic Hen­der­son.

In a sur­prise move, the Rebels have named half­back spe­cial­ist Richard Kingi at full­back, cov­er­ing for Ju­lian Hux­ley ( groin), who brings to six the num­ber of play­ers on the ca­su­alty list.

Blake was tagged Rodzilla dur­ing his time at the Reds with his size - then 140kg - mak­ing him a cult fig­ure.

How­ever, he fell out of favour and left in 2008 to play two sea­sons in France be­fore join­ing the Rebels, where he has bided his time wait­ing to make his de­but.

‘‘ It’s been a bit frus­trat­ing but I just had to wait for an op­por­tu­nity and now I’ve got to make the most of it,’’ said the 27-year-old, who has trimmed down to 127kg.

Blake won seven Test caps from 2006 and said he still har­boured am­bi­tions to re­turn to the Wal­la­bies fold.

Dur­ing his time at the Reds he was crit­i­cised for the tech­ni­cal weak­ness of his scrum­mag­ing but feels he’s ma­tured a lot on and off the field since then.

‘‘ I do have a point to prove, I feel I have a lot more to put into Aus­tralian rugby,’’ he said.

Rod­ney Blake

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