Rebels captain re-commits
NEWS: Another big-name Wallaby has committed to the Melbourne Rebels and Rugby Australia until the end of the 2025 season.
Rob Leota is the latest key Wallaby to re-commit to Australian Rugby until at least the British and Irish Lions Series.
The 26-year-old lock made his Test debut in 2021 in the remarkable win over South Africa on the Gold Coast and has gone on to pull on the gold jersey 13 times since, starting on eight occasions.
Melbourne born and raised, Leota was unveiled as the Rebels captain this year, following 44 Super Rugby caps for his boyhood club, after making his debut as an 18-year-old in 2016, the same year he represented the Junior Wallabies.
Known for his impact on both sides of the ball, Leota’s versatility as either a lock or a backrower makes him valuable at both Super Rugby Pacific and International level.
Leota is currently recovering from a ruptured Achilles he picked up in Bledisloe One last year and is hopeful of returning to the field towards the back end of the Super Rugby Pacific season.
Leota said: “I’m stoked to re-sign with the Rebels and Rugby Australia for two more years.”
“Melbourne is my home. This is the club I grew up supporting and the one that gave me my first opportunity to live out my dream, so to be able to re-commit to them was really important to me and my family.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to work hard to get back on the field as soon as I can and do everything I can to put my hand up for Wallabies selection later this year.”
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said: “Rob’s got the potential to be a consistent Test player.”
“He’s currently working hard to get himself back on the field and we hope to see him back out on the paddock for the Rebels soon.”
Melbourne Rebels General Manager of Rugby Nick Stiles said: “Rob’s re-commitment to the Rebels is fantastic news for our Club and the community.”
“After rising through as a Northern Panthers junior, to our Academy system, everyone at the Melbourne Rebels has been so proud watching him grow into a damaging Super Rugby player and a homegrown Club Captain and a Wallaby.
“Rob is a team-first, high-character guy and an important leader at our Club, so it’s exciting he wants to remain part of what we’re building here at the Melbourne Rebels and in the Victorian community.
“Having someone like Rob re-commit to our Club, and help drive our culture and ambitions will help inspire more Victorians to get into our game and support the Melbourne Rebels.”
2023 Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Fixtures:
Wallabies v South Africa, Saturday 8 July at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Wallabies v Argentina, Saturday 15 July at CommBank Stadium, Sydney
Wallabies v New Zealand, Saturday 29 July at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Wallabies v New Zealand, Saturday 5 August at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin