Rodzilla out to make most of shot with Rebels
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.