The Melbourne Rebels have today unveiled backrower Michael Wells as their latest signing for the 2020 season.
The twenty-six-year-old, who has juggled time between the Australian 7s program and the NSW Waratahs in recent seasons, will turn his focus exclusively to the XV-man code in an effort to help guide the Rebels to their first finals appearance in 2020.
“I feel as though I'm better suited to the game of XV's and for the purposes of longevity and overall performance, I felt XV's was the right choice,” admitted Wells.
“The Rebels as a province are an exciting fit for myself.
“The team has been on the cusp of making its first finals in franchise history for the past couple of years and I want to be a genuine contributor in being able to help the team achieve that feat and more. "
Named the Waratahs best forward in 2018, Wells arrives in Melbourne with the advantage of having played alongside some of the current Rebels playing squad.
“I've played with a few of the guys at the Rebels in the past, including Brad Wilkin, Reece Hodge, Matt Phillip, Boyd Killingworth and Bill Meakes back at Norths, so it's nice to have some familiar faces there and hopefully that makes the transition into the group a bit smoother for myself.
“The prospect of living in Melbourne is obviously a nice draw card, but the aspect that excites me the most about making the move to Melbourne is contributing to a great culture and team environment that is focused on high performance.”
Melbourne Rebels GM of Rugby & Pathways Nick Ryan sees Wells as the perfect complement to a backrow already bristling with talent.
“The arrival of Michael will see the competition for spots in the pack only intensify.
“As well as current Wallabies Isi Naisarani, Luke Jones and Richard Hardwick, we also have the likes of Angus Cottrell, Rob Leota, Boyd Killingworth and Brad Wilkin challenging for backrow spots in the match day 23."
Ryan sees Wells experience as integral in helping shape the Melbourne Rebels environment.
“Michael comes to Melbourne with a lot of experience having played with the Brumbies, Waratahs and Aussie 7s.
“His exposure to many professional environments and many different styles of play means he’ll be well place to adapt and drive the standards we set here in Melbourne,” said Ryan.