South African does U-turn on Munster deal; becomes a Rebel

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 07:16
Large dave wessels rebels 800

NEWS: Western Force coach David Wessels has knocked back overtures from Ireland to remain in Australia.

The 34-year-old South African will, instead, head up the Melbourne Rebels.

After the Perth-based Force were controversially axed from Super Rugby last month, he was being courted by Irish powerhouse Munster.

But he has now joined the Rebels on a two-year deal.

"For me, the decision was driven by a strong feeling of 'unfinished business' in Super Rugby," Wessels said.

"I'm very passionate about rugby, and the game in this country has provided me with the opportunity to fulfil my dream to coach professionally."

The highly rated Wessels, who has been tipped as a potential future Australia coach, said the Rebels shared an "outsiders" label with his former franchise, having also been threatened with elimination from Super Rugby.

"These are very powerful galvanising forces for a franchise, and we're very motivated by the fact that it's 'us versus the rest'," he said.

Wessels joined the Force as an assistant coach in 2013 and took over as head coach last year.

There is speculation that he could lure some of the Force's star players to Melbourne.

"We're delighted that Dave will be joining us. He's one of the brightest and most sought-after coaches in world rugby," Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said.

"He showed real leadership through an incredibly difficult period at the Western Force and has demonstrated his ability to build a world-class rugby program."

Wessels said he was "very grateful" to everyone at the Rebels and within Australia for helping make this move possible.

"Part of repaying this faith is realising the success that I know we're capable of.

"Make no mistake, our goal is to win Super Rugby.

"We're finalising an exciting group of coaches and players who will not only contribute to building an enviable and winning culture at the franchise, but who will progress us towards that ultimate goal.

"I'm excited about the prospect of coaching in Melbourne as the Rebels share many of the characteristics I have grown to love from my time in Western Australia: their players and fans have shared our uncertainity over the past couple of months and we are the 'outsiders' of the traditional powers in Australian rugby.

"These are very powerful galvanising forces for a franchise, and we're very motivated by the fact that it's 'us versus the rest'."

The Melbourne Rebels will make further announcement regarding the make-up of their playing roster and coaching staff in the coming weeks.

The Melbourne Rebels will kick-off their 2018 Super Rugby campaign at home against the Queensland 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
MORE LOGS
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