The Melbourne Rebels today have granted outside back Jack Maddocks with an immediate release from the final year of his contract with the Club, allowing him to continue his Rugby career balancing his Sevens and Fifteens aspirations based in Sydney.
Maddocks approached the Rebels in late 2019 with a request to be closer to his family and support network; along with the opportunity to test himself in Sevens, alongside his brother Will, and with a view to gaining selection for the 2020 Olympic Games.
In good faith the Rebels offered Maddocks the flexibility he requested to reside and train in Sydney with Rugby Australia, leading to his international Sevens debut in September.
Recognising Jack’s extraordinary and unique circumstances, the Rebels have agreed - in consultation with Rugby Australia - to support Jack continuing an integrated Sevens and Super Rugby career in 2020 and supporting his ongoing personal wellbeing by being permanently based with family in Sydney.
Reflecting on this difficult decision, Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson confirmed it was tough to bid farewell to the young outside back.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the contribution Jack has made to the Rebels and to Rugby in Melbourne over his three years with the Club. We wish him all the best with his future endeavours and Olympic aspirations.’
“At the same time, we are really proud of the contribution that we know the Melbourne Rebels have made to Jack’s life. Our program and our people have been instrumental in giving Jack his first ever professional opportunity and driving his development to an elite Super Rugby, Wallaby and Australian Sevens player.”
Stephenson admitted that the depth of elite outside backs in the Rebels squad was a key consideration in reconciling Maddocks’ request, with Dane Haylett-Petty, Marika Koroibete, Reece Hodge, Andrew Kellaway, Campbell Magnay, Tom English, Harry Potter and Semisi Tupou all vying for selection in 2020.
“We have reflected deeply on Jack’s personal circumstances and believe we are able to balance his best interests and those of the Melbourne Rebels by agreeing to this request.Our retention and recruitment strategy ensures that we have plenty of experience and depth in our outside backs for 2020 and we will also now have the option to add a replacement player to our roster if we deem it necessary.”
Jack Maddocks confirmed it was bittersweet to be departing the Rebels.
“I owe a lot to the Melbourne Rebels for taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity to debut professionally and develop my game significantly. I have enjoyed my time in Melbourne and I don’t take the experience I have had for granted. I will look back very fondly on my time with the Club and thank the Rebels fans for their support.’
“In looking forward to what I would like to achieve in the next stage my career, I have had to make this difficult request of the Rebels to train and play in closer proximity to my family. I am really excited about the prospect of playing both Sevens and Super Rugby. I thank the Rebels for accepting this request and wish Dave and the team well in 2020.”