WALLABY lock Adam Coleman has signed for the Melbourne Rebels until the 2019 Super Rugby season, as the franchise continues to feast on the Western Force remains.
The 26-year-old Coleman has committed to Australian rugby until the 2019 World Cup, inking a two-year deal with the Rebels and the ARU.
“I’m excited to get down to Melbourne and join up with the boys. They have made some great signings, that have added nicely to the talented guys that are already there,” Coleman said in a statement.
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“There’s a good balance of experience and some great young players, so we’ll be aiming to give Super Rugby a good shake next year.
“Obviously Dave (Wessels) was a big factor, but I definitely wanted to stay in Australian Rugby. I love playing in the Gold jersey for the Wallabies and I think we’re building something special for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.”
The trickle of talent heading east from the Force to the Rebels has now turned into a torrent since the Western Australian franchise was controversially cut from Super Rugby.
Wallabies Dane Haylett-Petty, Billy Meakes and Richard Hardwick along with five-eighth Jono Lance and blindside/lock Ross Haylett-Petty, are also expected to follow coach Dave Wessels at the Rebels following the ARU’s axeing of the Force.
Wessels’ decision to join the Rebels was the catalyst for the player bonanza, with the young coach proving extremely impressive in his first season at the helm of a Super Rugby club.
Wessels has yet to confirm his full coaching setup for 2018, but it’s expected that his assistants at the Force — Joe Barakat (forwards) and Shaun Berne (backs) — will join him at the Rebels.
Coleman’s addition is a significant boost to the Rebels’ forward pack and will bring
leadership and a wealth of experience to the club’s second row.
He boasts 20 Tests for the Wallabies since his debut against England in 2016, and he’s played 48 Super Rugby games following his debut in 2013.
The Tasmania-native was nominated for Rugby Australia’s 2017 Super Rugby Player of the Year, an award ultimately claimed by his new Rebels teammate Amanaki Mafi.
“We’re delighted to have big Adam join us in Melbourne. He’s grown a lot as a player, person and leader over the last couple of years and he’s genuine about wanting to become the best lock in the world,” Wessels said.
“We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us but I think Adam will be a big contributor to the future success of Australian rugby, with the Wallabies and Melbourne Rebels, for many years to come.”
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