Hurricanes will not take outgoing Rebels lightly - Clark Laidlaw

Rebels will be leaving Super Rugby at the end of the ongoing season
Rebels will be leaving Super Rugby at the end of the ongoing season

Hurricanes head coach Clark Laidlaw insisted that they will not be taking on Melbourne Rebels lightly in the upcoming quarter-final at Sky Stadium on Saturday.

The Rebels are currently on their last season in Super Rugby with Rugby Australia announcing the decision to axe them at the end of the ongoing season.

Even though Hurricanes are favourites to win the knock out encounter, Laidlaw feels they will be wary of the Australian side.

"We've got huge empathy to the situation as fellow professionals," Laidlaw said.

"The last thing we want to see is people not having a job next year for whatever reason it is.

"Emotion's a big part of rugby and knockout rugby, anyway. So we need to respect that and be aware of it because emotions can help you if channelled in the right direction."

Meanwhile, Rebels head coach Kevin Foote said the decision to axe the club was hurtful but the squad is motivated to complete the season well.

"It was always going to hurt, to be honest. It doesn't really make sense for a lot of us," said Foote.

"We really believed, from the coaching perspective, that if it had stayed together to build confidence in the squad, we could have gone on to make finals more of a regular occurrence.

"We spoke about empathy, understanding that this news means different things to different people.

"The fact is we are in the finals and we want to be positive around that."