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October 8, 2012

Melbourne Rebels unveil 2013 Super Rugby squad

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Melbourne Rebels unveil 2013 Super Rugby squad

By SANZAR News Service and melbournerebels.com.au

The RaboDirect Rebels’ squad for 2013 is almost complete with nine new faces joining the club, plus five new recruits in the Extended Playing Squad (EPS), and a further spot yet to be filled as the club enters its third season in the Super Rugby competition.

With the departure of players such as Stirling Mortlock, Al Campbell, Mark Gerrard and Adam Freier, there has been a clear adjustment in age, which brings a great opportunity to many new faces to build on the strong foundations that they have left behind.

“We planned from the outset to recruit experienced players in our start up seasons to assist with the development of a strong culture and playing style,” said Head Coach Damien Hill.

“The involvement of these foundation players will continue in other ways; Sam Cordingley has stayed with the organisation in a recruitment capacity and Stirling Mortlock will play a part in our coaching structure next season.”

Headlining the new arrivals is current Wallaby and 2012 ARU Super Rugby Player of the Year runner-up Scott Higginbotham who joins the club from the Queensland Reds. His athleticism and aggression will complement high-class back-row options for Hill such as current captain Gareth Delve and Jarrod Saffy.

“Scott is an important recruit for the organisation as we step up for 2013,” said Hill.

“We are building an exciting, well balanced squad with the likes of current Wallabies James O’Connor, Kurtley Beale, Scott Higginbotham, Cooper Vuna and Nick Phipps, and several other players including Luke Jones, Hugh Pyle, Caderyn Neville, Mitch Inman, Laurie Weeks, Richard Kingi and Jarrod Saffy who we also expect to push for Wallaby selection.

“There are also several young players, such as Nic Stirzacker and Angus Roberts, who are to impress next season.

“The exciting thing is that there is still one final spot available. We have a few options that are more than capable of playing Super Rugby, but it will come down to who wants it more.”

Twenty-two year old Alex Rokobaro joins the club having spent the past 12 months in France with Stade Francais. The versatile outside back will be familiar to the club’s supporters having been part of the Rebel Rising program in 2011.

Rory Sidey is another player with great versatility who will become a RaboDirect Rebel next season.  At only 26, the experienced Sidey has had a taste of European Rugby with Newport-Gwent Dragons, and has spent the last three seasons in Super Rugby with the NSW Waratahs and Western Force, collecting 30 caps.

Ryan Tyrrell will join Sidey at the Rebels in 2013. The hulking 112kg hooker will provide competition for the number two jersey with incumbent Ged Robinson after the losses of Freier, Luke Holmes and Heath Tessmann at the end of last season.

Wallaby squad members Hugh Pyle and Cadeyrn Neville, and powerful young lock Luke Jones have been joined in the second-row by experienced line-out specialist Chris Thomson. Standing at an imposing 204cm Thomson will be the tallest Australian player in Super Rugby, and he is keen to prove himself in the competition once again after spending the past two seasons with Narbonne in France.

After some eye catching displays in the NSW Shute Shield competition, 22-year old fullback Angus Roberts has earnt an opportunity in Super Rugby. The exciting and versatile back demonstrated great composure with Sydney University this season at both flyhalf and fullback.

Excitement machine and former Brumby Kimami Situati joins the club having represented Queensland and Australian Schoolboys teams in his junior days, as well as winning a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the Australian 7’s team along with current Rebels halfback Nick Phipps.

After a fantastic Junior Rugby World Cup in 2010 where his New Zealand team went through undefeated, Jason Woodward joins the Rebels having spent time with the Wellington Lions in the ITM Cup competition. He can cover a number of positions including fullback, wing and flyhalf.

Scott Fuglistaller joins the club from the Wellington Hurricanes. The openside flanker graduated to their full-time squad in 2012 from the Wider Training Group.

2013 Rebels Memberships go on sale today, with priority tickets for The British & Irish Lions to members who join prior to October 31.

2013 RABODIRECT REBELS SQUAD

1. Eddie Aholelei

2. Paul Alo-Emile

3. Kurtley Beale

4. Tim Davidson

5. Gareth Delve

6. Scott Fuglistaller

7. Nic Henderson

8. Scott Higginbotham

9. Mitch Inman

10. Luke Jones

11. James King

12. Richard Kingi

13. Lachlan Mitchell

14. Cadeyrn Neville

15. James O’Connor

16. Nick Phipps

17. Hugh Pyle

18. Angus Roberts

19. Ged Robinson

20. Alex Rokobaro

21. Jarrod Saffy

22. Rory Sidey

23. Kimami Sitauti

24. Nic Stirzaker

25. Chris Thomson

26. Ryan Tyrrell

27. Cooper Vuna

28. Laurie Weeks

29. Jason Woodward

30. TBC

RABODIRECT REBELS EXTENDED PLAYING SQUAD (EPS)

31.   Trent Dyer

32.   Tom English

33.   Bryce Hegarty

34.   Patrick Leafa

35.   Jordy Reid

 

IN:

Scott Fuglistaller - Otago Highlanders

Scott Higginbotham - Queensland Reds

Angus Roberts - Sydney University

Alex Rokobaro - Stade Francais

Rory Sidey – Western Force

Kimami Sitauti - ACT Brumbies

Chris Thomson - Narbonne

Ryan Tyrrell - Cardiff Blues

Jason Woodward – Wellington Lions

Trent Dyer (EPS) - Sydney University

Tom English (EPS) - Sydney University

Bryce Hegarty (EPS) - Brisbane Broncos

Patrick Leafa (EPS) - Canberra Vikings

Jordy Reid (EPS) - Manly Marlins

 

OUT:

Rodney Blake - TBC

Adam Byrnes - Russia

Alister Campbell - Retired

Danny Cipriani - Sale Sharks

Tom Chamberlain – TBC

Adam Freier - Retired

Mark Gerrard – Toyota Shokki

James Hilgendorf - TBC

Julian Huxley - Narbonne Racing Club

Lloyd Johansson - TBC

Michael Lipman - Retired

Stirling Mortlock - Retired

Heath Tessmann - TBC