The Melbourne Rebels have extended the club’s elite player pathways and development resources to Rugby Union South Australia and Tasmanian Rugby Union after Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) were signed with the two organisations.
The agreements sets out to provide pathway opportunities for talented and ambitious South Australian and Tasmanian stakeholders into a professional Super Rugby rugby program.
“Our aim is to foster a strong alignment and relationship with Unions that share similar values, challenges and opportunities as the Melbourne Rebels,” Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said.
“As a community owned club, the Rebels have a responsibility to grow the game so, along with the work we’re doing in Victoria, we’re taken a unique approach to develop a true partnership that provides players in south east Australia with a pathway.
“South Australia and Tasmania have a thriving rugby communities so we have pledged to establish partnerships that will benefit Australian rugby in the long-term.”
The MOU will grow the pathway opportunities for the players and coaches in South Australia and Tasmania with strategic initiatives such as coaching visits, corporate and fundraising support, as well as introductions into key club commercial partners.
Former Rebels players Luke Burgess (2013-2015) heads up coach and player development in Tasmania and Alex Rokobaro (2013-2014) is a first grade rugby coach in South Australia.
The Rebels have extend the club’s Road to Rebels junior membership intiative with every registered player aged 17 years and younger in South Australia and Tasmania to receive a free 2018 Rebels ticketek membership to all eight home games.
“South Australian Rugby Union sees this partnership as a great opportunity to provide our young men and women with a clear pathway to the game’s elite level while continuing to play club rugby in SA,” South Australian Rugby Union General Manager Carl Jones said.
“This is a huge step forward in making official the great relationship we’ve long had with Victorian Rugby and the Rebels.”
Tasmanian Rugby Union President Michael Ryan said: “the Tasmanian Rugby Union is honoured to partner with the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union as we look to forge and further develop pathways for young Tasmanians and Victorians.
“Being a foundation member of the Australian Rugby Union, Tasmania has always had a proud tradition of passionate rugby and as the game grows, connecting with Melbourne and Victoria will see a vibrant exchange of ideas and effort between our two great organisations.
“The game and its ethos have lived in the hearts of many Tasmanian generations and we feel sharing these values with the Melbourne Rebels will benefit both rugby communities and the game itself.”
The Melbourne Rebels will kick-off its 2018 Super Rugby campaign at home against the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park on Friday 23 February from 7.30pm (AEDT).
Join the Rebel Army for the 2018 Super Rugby with memberships now on sale from as little as $88 for an adult, $35 for children and $218 for a family of four for all eight home games.