The Melbourne Rebels are excited to announce the re-signings of James Tuttle, Tom Pincus and Theo Strang, with all three players committing to continue their playing careers in Melbourne.
The new deals will see the Rebels shore up their scrum-half and fullback options for 2021, retaining three important squad members from this year’s memorable Super Rugby AU campaign.
Melbourne Rebels Head Coach, Dave Wessels, said: “We’re delighted that Bob (Tuttle), Tom and Theo have recommitted to us. All are great team men who will push hard in their positions for that starting spot.”
Tuttle made his long-awaited Super Rugby return this year after successfully overcoming back-to-back Achilles ruptures.
A St Joseph’s College product and former Queensland Country Captain, Tuttle carries a stellar junior background, having represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2013, while also playing a significant role at the 2015 Under-20 World Championships for the Junior Wallabies.
After 24 appearances with the Reds over four seasons, Tuttle joined the Rebels at the beginning of last season, following the departures of halfbacks Will Genia and Michael Ruru, and went on to play four Super Rugby AU games in 2020.
A popular figure at the Stockade, Tuttle’s impact off the field has been lauded by many, with the twenty-four-year-old becoming one of the most influential and well-respected voices amongst the Rebels playing group.
Now entering his sixth Super Rugby campaign, Tuttle says his decision to stay with the Rebels was an easy one.
“The 2020 season gave me a taste again of Super Rugby and to continue to be involved with great people in a great organisation that is the Melbourne Rebels, it was an easy decision,” said Tuttle.
“Our side took massive strides this year albeit away from our fans in Melbourne, so to play in front of them again in 2021 is something the whole group is really excited for.
“2020 was a promising campaign in the short history of the club, but one that left the group wanting more in the coming years. To be given an opportunity to contribute again in 2021 is something that I am extremely appreciative of.”
Joining Tuttle will be fellow Queenslander, Tom Pincus, who arrived at the Rebels in February earlier this year.
Pincus became Rebel No. 159, when he made his Super Rugby AU debut during the Rebels’ ‘Super time’ win over the Western Force in Round 5 at Leichardt Oval.
After playing at the Eastern Suburbs and Queensland Country, Pincus began his professional playing career over in England in 2017, playing for the Jersey Reds in the RFU Championship, making 28 appearances and scoring 72 points.
Following two seasons at the Jersey Reds, Pincus headed to Bristol to play for English Championship club, the Bristol Bears. Over three years, the twenty-eight-year-old played 18 games, scoring 55 points, including running for another try on debut.
The Gold Coast native says recommitting to Melbourne was a “no-brainer” and believes the Rebels are building something special ahead of season 2021.
“Last year was a roller coaster of a season and while it was great to spend some time away with the team getting to know the boys, I’m really excited to be back in Melbourne and I can’t wait to kick off the new season,” said Pincus.
“Recommitting was a no-brainer for me – the Rebels are a top club, playing a really dynamic style of rugby. We’ve got an exciting team in place and I think after last year, we’re all chomping at the bit to get out there and have a cracking 2021 campaign.”
Another scrum-half primed for a big 2021 campaign is New South Welshman, Theo Strang.
After making his Super Rugby debut against the Sunwolves in February, Strang went on to play four games in his first year at the Rebels.
The talented playmaker will be looking to add to his tally this season, after spending the past three months honing his craft for Sydney University in the Shute Shield, playing alongside Rebels’ teammates Josh Kemeny and Declan Moore.
The twenty-three-year-old says he’s thrilled to be staying with the Rebels. “It’s awesome to get the opportunity to be here in Melbourne with the Rebels for the next couple of years, and to get around the boys and appreciate footy for what it is in the professional environment,” said Strang.
“Being out here with the club earlier in the year, the experience really helped me build some strong relationships with the some of the players, so committing on a full-time basis and moving. to Melbourne has really been a seamless process and I can’t wait to rip in.”