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Rebels Sign Capped International Monty Ioane



Monty Ioane is coming home.

After nine years playing overseas, the Melbourne Rebels are excited to unveil Ioane as the Club’s latest signing for the upcoming Super Rugby Pacific season, with Ioane committing to the Rebels until at least the end of the 2023 season.

The acquisition of the capped international who has made 14 appearances for Italy, will bolster the Rebels stocks on the wing with his explosive pace set to ignite the AAMI Park faithful.

After plying his trade as a junior at the Endeavour Hills Rugby Club, Ioane made his professional debut at just eighteen-years-old for Paris side, Stade Français in the Top 14.

Following a pair of eye-catching campaigns in the Mitre 10 Cup, Ioane signed with Italian side Benetton, where he played 81 matches over six seasons.

After being named in the PRO14 Dream Team for two straight campaigns (2018-2019 and 2019-2020), Ioane would win selection for the Italian national team, debuting in the Autumn Nations Cup Final against Wales.

Ioane says returning to where his career first began was a dream come true.

“Growing up in a strong rugby family, Melbourne was where my love for the game first began”, said Ioane.

“It’s honestly a dream to return back home and represent my city at the highest level now. I never thought the opportunity would arise but here I am today and it’s one of the most exciting moments of my playing career. I can’t wait for the opportunity to push my case and run out onto AAMI Park wearing a Rebels jersey.”

“Looking back on my time in juniors, I’ve had some great memories playing for Endeavour Hills, especially from under-12’s when I was captain and we ended up winning the grand final against Northcote.

“When I started my junior rugby here, it was tough, but looking forward to where Melbourne has come with rugby now and the pathways available, it’s honestly incredible.

“Having homegrown players playing for the Rebels is special and as a Victorian, I have great pride seeing the opportunities created for the kids, that next generation, and giving them something to dream of and pursue.”

Melbourne Rebels GM of Rugby, Nick Stiles, said the Club was thrilled to bring home another proud Victorian.

“It’s great to have such a quality talent and person like Monty join the Melbourne Rebels,” said Stiles.

“After growing up playing in the Victorian rugby community, it’s been fantastic to see Monty’s pride in the growth of rugby in our state and the opportunities that are now available for young, hungry, and talented Victorian players.

“Monty will obviously be a valuable addition on the field, but off it, he’ll bring great value mentoring our next generation of Victorian Rebels and showing them what it takes to develop into a successful Test player.

“It’s a really exciting time for Victorian rugby. We’ve just had the senior and junior grand finals, Melbourne’s hosting a Bledisloe match for the first time since 2010 with five Rebels pushing for selection and next week, we’ll be hosting the inaugural Victorian Cup Series which will see our state’s best Club players receiving the opportunity to test themselves against Super Rugby competition and compete for a spot on the Rebels tour of Japan.”

Catch Monty Ioane’s first game in Melbourne Rebels colours on Friday September 23, when the Melbourne Rebels host the inaugural Victorian Club Series at Power House Junior Rugby Club. With five games and free entry, it promises to be a memorable day of Victorian Rugby. 

Content & Images from – Melbourne Rebels Rugby

Super Rugby

Team Naming: Whitelock Back for Waratahs Game



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The Crusaders have named their side to face the Waratahs in Round 14 of Super Rugby Pacific ’23.


It’s the team’s last home game of the regular season before we get into finals. Kick off is Saturday at 4.35pm.


Codie Taylor takes up captaincy with Scott Barrett making the most of a rest week before some big showdowns. He’s joined in the front row by Kershawl Sykes-Martin and Tamaiti Williams.


Sam Whitelock returns this week, itching to take the field after a few weeks sidelined by injury. Both Codie Taylor and Scott Robertson spoke on Thursday morning about looking forward to having his leadership and wisdom back on the grass.


The dynamic duo of Mitch Drummond and Richie Mo’unga return at halfback and first five, their routine well-polished by now.


Look for some antics and acrobatics from Leicester Fainga’anuku and Dallas McLeod on the left and right wings, and a safe pair of hands at the rear with Fergus Burke as fullback.


Reuben O’Neill is set to make his Crusaders debut off the bench this week, the current Taranaki and former Chiefs player bolstering the front row stocks. He’s slotted in well with the team during trainings, Robertson saying he was “familiar to us” and helped relieve the burden on a front row depleted by injury. Brodie McAlister and Seb Calder make up the rest of the replacement front row.


The Crusaders go into this one second on the table, the Waratahs in sixth. There’s no discounting an Aussie side still within reach of a home quarter if the cards fall right for them. Expect a big contest.

Content & Images from – Crusaders Rugby

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Super Rugby

Farewell to a legend



The Highlanders will use the last home game of the year against the Reds on Friday 26th May to farewell Aaron Smith – their most capped player ever. All things going to plan Smith should play his 184th game against the Reds.

Smith joined the club in 2011 at the behest of the then new Highlander’s coach, Jamie Joseph, having previously been in the Blues wider training group, the rest as they say is history.

Widely recognised as one of the best halfbacks in the game his performances over the years have left fans, fellow players and the media in awe of his consistency, energy, skill level and competitiveness.

However, all good things come to an end and on Friday 26th May at 7.05pm Smith will suit up in his Highlanders jersey and run out of the stadium tunnel to be greeted by a home crowd for the last time, from next year he is signed to play in the Japanese League.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark appreciates it will be a significant moment in the club’s history.

“Aaron has given so much to the club and rugby public in this region. Saying good-bye is not a moment that many will be looking forward to, but he so richly deserves this one last opportunity to sign off an amazing Highlanders career in front of his home crowd.  No doubt It will be a very special occasion for Aaron, Teagan and his children Luka and Leo, we hope it will be a night to remember for all.”

Head Coach Clarke Dermody acknowledges it will be an extra special night for his All-Black halfback.

“He’s been leading our team around the park for the last decade or so and he epitomises everything that a professional player should be – always prepared, highly skilled, competitive, and passionate about his team. He deserves all the recognition he gets, and he has worked very hard for it. Knowing Aaron, he will treat it like any other week, go through his routines, preparing accurately and give it his best on the night. I know I won’t be alone in reflecting on his enormous contribution to rugby in our region as his last home game comes to an end.”

Fans will have another opportunity to watch the master in action when the Highlanders take on the Rebels this Saturday at 4.35pm.

Book your seat to witness history here 


Content & Images from – Highlanders Rugby

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Super Rugby

Team Naming: Fainga’anuku and Jager mark 50 Games in Blues Showdown



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Quin Strange, Christian Lio-Willie, Tom Christie and Cullen Grace round out the back five. Earlier in the week veteran prop Joe Moody said, “we know we have the power throughout our back give, so…we need to keep the front row up so we can utilise that power”. Expect a big push through these guys, hoping to reap rewards. 


Mitchell Drummond resumes his starting position at halfback after Noah Hotham started last week. The youngest ever player to clock 100 games for the franchise, Drummond brings maturity and huge experience. He lines up alongside Richie Mo’unga. When these two long-term team mates are on the field together, intuition is high. 


Leicester Fainga’anuku runs the left wing, Dallas McLeod runs the right. These guys are a different breed, so keep an eye out for straight line breaks and aerial acrobatics.  


David Havili and Braydon Ennor round out the centre, with playmaker Will Jordan in fullback for his second start of the season.  


There you have it. All that’s left is the anticipation of kick off. Crusaders v Blues. The showdown is on.  


Will you be there?


Content & Images from – Crusaders Rugby

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