New Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan is dishing out some tough love as he moulds his side into a Super Rugby force.
The Rebels, playing in their fourth Super season, aren’t prepared to settle for just making up the numbers in 2014.
Centre Mitch Inman said that former Wallabies assistant McGahan, who has replaced Damien Hill, was about short term pain for long term gain.
“He can be quite a harsh critic,” Inman said of McGahan, a former schoolteacher.
“You think you’re doing really well in pre-season and you’ll go for a meeting and he’ll give you some very constructive criticism.
“It’s a good wake-up call.”
Inman said while the feedback could be tough to take, it would benefit the side in the long term.
“It may be a bit harsh but what he’s trying to do will benefit you and get the best out of you as a player.”
Following the departure of star backs James O’Connor and Kurtley Beale, Inman, 25, is ready to step up as one of the most experienced backs in the side.
He also hopes that includes representative selection.
Inman is set to be partnered by exciting youngster Tom English although with the arrival of veteran Kiwi Tamati Ellison it’s far from settled.
“No-one’s guaranteed anything, there’s a lot of competition and I think it brings out the best in everybody,” he said.
“The more competition in each position the better.”
Inman said that the Rebels could look to the grand finalists Brumbies for inspiration in terms of their progress and resulting Test selection.
“The more that we win the more chance that we have of people being selected at a higher level,” he said.
“Two years ago the Brumbies were struggling and they turned it around quite quickly and you see a lot of their players getting picked because they’re playing well as a team and that’s where we need to get to.”