The Melbourne Rebels are thrilled to announce the re-signings of Australian Sevens stars Lewis Holland and Lachlan Anderson, with both players committing to extending their playing careers in Melbourne for at least another season.
Anderson and Holland joined the Rebels prior to the beginning of the Super Rugby AU season, following the postponement of the 2020 Sevens World Series and Olympic Games in Tokyo, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Melbourne Rebels Head Coach Dave Wessels said: “We got to know Ando and Lewis well over the last few months and they’re both great people – who work hard.We’ve seen how successful the Springbok Sevens players have been in South Africa’s domestic Super Rugby competition and I know both of these guys can do the same for us. They’re great athletes and both pretty tough individuals.”
Anderson comes from a strong junior background, having represented NSW and the Australian Schoolboys selection teams in 2015, before making a successful switch to Sevens later that year, playing in the 2015 Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa.
In 2017, Anderson exploded on to the World Series scene, scoring 90 points – including 18 tries - from his first seven matches with the Australian Sevens team.
The Oakhill College prodigy would go on to win 29 Australian Sevens caps, before switching back to XV’s earlier this year, where he enjoyed a promising first season with the Rebels, making his Super Rugby AU debut during Melbourne’s finals-clinching Round 10 win over the Western Force in Newcastle.
The twenty-three-year-old has since continued to improve his development, enjoying a strong domestic campaign with Eastwood in Sydney’s Shute Shield competition.
Joining the club at the backend of the regular season, Anderson produced an impressive finals series, playing an important role in his side’s progression to the Shute Shield Grand Final.
Now turning his attention to the upcoming Super Rugby AU season, Anderson says he’s thrilled for the opportunity to build on a promising debut season with the Rebels.
“I’m absolutely stoked to sign on for another year with the Melbourne Rebels,” said Anderson.
“It’s a very tight group both on and off the field and with a great coaching staff.
“I strongly believe the potential within the team is enormous after making our maiden finals debut this year in Super Rugby AU, and I believe we have the ability to take it a step further in 2021 and win the entire competition.
“Being able to continue my development within the XV’s format of the game and learn off blokes like Matt To’omua, Dane Haylett-Petty and Reece Hodge, is invaluable.”
Joining Anderson will be Australian Sevens teammate, Lewis Holland.
Since making his national debut at just eighteen-years-old in 2011, Holland has developed into one of Australia’s premier Sevens stars, scoring a record 114 tries from 51 appearances.
In 2018, the twenty-seven-year-old’s strong standing within the sport would be recognised when Holland was appointed captain of Australia, becoming just the sixth player to lead the national side in Sevens history.
Prior to his Sevens switch, Holland enjoyed a stellar junior career in union, winning selection for the Australian Schoolboys in 2010, before representing the Australian Under-20s at the Junior World Rugby Championships in South Africa in 2012, playing alongside recently signed Melbourne lock, Steve Cummins.
Holland says he’s excited to be extending his time in Melbourne and at a club with such a close-knit playing group.
“I’m pumped to get the opportunity to return to Melbourne,” said Holland.
“Being a part of the group this year - especially after relocating to Terrigal and getting to know the players better - made my decision to return a lot easier and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to pull a jersey on.
“Being back in the fifteens environment was something refreshing and challenging, but something I’m looking forward to doing again.”