Carter Gordon’s brother primed to take on Hurricanes

The unbeaten Hurricanes might have made a stunning 14 changes to take on Melbourne in their Super Rugby Pacific clash on Friday, but the Rebels also have a special new face in Mason Gordon.

The younger brother of Melbourne’s star playmaker Carter Gordon, 21-year-old Mason has been included on the bench for the first time.

Mason played at fullback for the Junior Wallabies last year but is equally at home in the halves, with Rebels coach Kevin Foote excited to give the youngster a chance after a four-year apprenticeship in Melbourne.

“Mason covers us at 10 and 15 and he’s got a lot of strengths,” Foote said on the eve of the challenging away match in Palmerston North.

“He’s always had the ability to move the ball and to communicate well and be an attacking player.

“But I see huge growth in his defence, his kicking and his back-field coverage.

“Obviously he’s worked hard at his physical attributes;he’s grown now. He’s a fantastic tackler and defensive player, just like his brother, so it’s pretty like for like now in how they play, and I think that will be good for us.”

World Cup Wallaby Carter, who is repeating his impressive Super form after a breakout season last year, says the siblings have a special brotherly bond.

“The small amount of games we’ve played together have been really enjoyable and we do have that brotherly connection,” 23 year-old Carter said.

“Even at training, I think getting out with Mason and being on the same team, I feel like there’s almost two of me, or two of Mason out there.

“We know what each other are thinking, around calling and things like that.”

Only prop Tyrel Lomax remains from the Hurricanes’ starting line-up that downed the Crusaders for a fourth straight victory, with All Black Jordie Barrett returning from suspension in the centres.

Foote felt the Hurricanes’ overhaul was more about resting players and rewarding others than taking his team lightly.

“I don’t really look at it like that – everyone’s got some sore bodies and they deserve to rotate some guys around,” he said.

“I’m not looking too much into the changes and why they’ve done it.

“With the changes we’ve made, we’ve done it to give people an opportunity who have trained well and deserve a chance.”

Ominously for Melbourne, the Hurricanes have won the past 10 meetings between the two sides stretching back to a shock loss to the Rebels in their first-ever encounter in 2011.

The Canes are averaging 43 points a game during that run and are enjoying their best start to a season since winning their first seven in 2015.

The Wellington outfit are also chasing a 17th consecutive win against visiting Australian opposition.

After an admirable two-from-two start despite their uncertain future in the competition, the cash-strapped Rebels are gunning for successive victories away from AAMI Park for the first time since 2021.


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