Rebels lure a Kiwi to Melbourne

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 07:41
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TRANSFER NEWS: The Rebels have lured former All Black manager Tony Thorpe across the Tasman to fill the franchise's new Team Director role.

The appointment of the former New Zealand representative player and successful manager for the 2018 Super Rugby season is the first major coup for the Rebels following the announcement of new head coach David Wessels.

The newly established Team Director role will drive standards, discipline, travel and high-performance outcomes after an end of season review into the Rebels rugby program identified areas that required attention.

"I'm fortunate for the opportunity to work with David and the management team at the start of a new era for the Melbourne Rebels and excited by the franchise's untapped potential in the growing squad and organisation," Thorpe said.

"There are some challenges to overcome in a very short period of time but David's pulling together a group capable of navigating the franchise on this exciting journey to deliver success for the Rebels."

Thorpe's impressive background has included two years as Team Manager with the All Blacks and three Super Rugby championships in the same role with the Crusaders. Thorpe will work very closely with established team manager Mark Rowe to create the best environment for the players and staff.

A Canterbury representative lock from 1982-1986, Thorpe joined the All Blacks in 2002 after three years as team manager with the Hurricanes age-group programs.

Thorpe followed All Blacks assistant coach and former Canterbury teammate Robbie Deans to the Crusaders in 2004, where he played an integral part in establishing the franchise as Super Rugby's most successful franchise. After three titles in his eight years at Crusaders, Thorpe first crossed the ditch to work for three years under former Springboks head coach Jake White as Team Director at the Brumbies in 2012.

Thorpe, a New Zealand underage and Sevens representative, most recently held the role as General Manager Rugby for the Fijian Rugby Union, where he was a part of the country's historic Olympic gold medal Sevens program.

"Tony's extensive management experience will make him an extremely valuable asset to our refreshed rugby program at the Rebels," Rebels chief executive officer Baden Stephenson said.

"Our franchise is going to go through a major transformation and there is so much work to get done in such a small amount of time. Tony knows what success and strong team cultures looks like."

Following the appointment of Wessels and Thorpe, the Rebels will continue to revitalise its rugby department with the recruitment of key on-field and coaching staff to be finalised in the coming weeks, along with the playing squad.

The Melbourne Rebels will kick-off its 2018 Super Rugby campaign at home against the Reds in Melbourne on Friday, February 23.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28