Western Force coach Tim Sampson has backed young flyhalf Reesjan Pasitoa to continue his development as they look to build off last week's narrow defeat.
Pasitoa was thrown into the starting side on debut and nearly inspired the club to victory over his old side Brumbies, however, they were denied by a 79th-minute try.
As the Force prepares for a physical Rebels outfit at AAMI Park, Sampson expects the 20-year-old to receive some added attention, however, was confident he would embrace it.
“It was quality,” he remarked on Pasitoa’s debut. “That would have been a big occasion for him, I think it was his first start in Super Rugby, but also going back to Canberra and play his old side.
“He would’ve been rapt with his performance last week but he has to bounce back this week and play even better than what he did before.
“I'm sure the Rebels are going to target him being a young No.10, but he's got a pretty cool head on his shoulders, and we've seen he doesn't mind the physicality, so he'll be right. He's so composed...he's doesn't get nervous and he's chilled out.
"He's a very calm guy, stuff is thrown at him and he handles it with ease...there's a lot to like about him at the moment."
Saturday's clash will carry extra meaning for the Rebels, returning home for the first time in nearly 300 days.
“We’re big on representing Melbourne and doing it for the city so it’s going to be great to get back to AAMI Park, have fans in the stands and hopefully give them something to cheer about," Rebels flanker Brad Wilkin said.
“It’s been a tough few years so we’re looking forward to creating some memories at AAMI Park with this group."
Sampson and the Force are eagerly looking forward to their own return home in round three against the Queensland Reds, expecting a highly emotional performance from the Melbourne-based side.
“It’s natural. It’s no different from us, we’re looking forward to getting home for our first game so it’s something we’ll touch on," Sampson added.
“They’re a very gritty side. You have to play the full 80 minutes against them, very disciplined. across the park, I think they can be a bit of a handful."