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.

Bulls vs Hurricanes
sast: 17h15 | local: 17h15

  • 13 | 12
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Ireland vs Wales
sast: 16h15 | local: 14h15

  • 30 | 27
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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Lions v Jaguares 47 | 27
Waratahs v Stormers 34 | 27
Crusaders v Chiefs 45 | 23
Sunwolves v Brumbies 25 | 32
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 1 0 0 4
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 1
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 5
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 2 2 0 0 9
Stormers 2 1 0 1 5
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 2 0 0 2 0