The Rebels are today excited to announce the return of Matt Philip ahead of the 2022 Super Rugby AU season after a short-term stint at French Top 14 club, Pau, with Philip signing until the end of 2023 and available for Wallabies selection from July.
Wallabies and Rebels lock Matt Philip said: “I’m looking forward to giving something back to the club. Without the Rebels and the people involved in the environment, I definitely wouldn’t be in the position I am today.
I want to achieve some club goals and bring home some silverware.
“The Top 14 has been a great opportunity for growth both on-and-off the field. A lot of games are in cold, wet weather and against some big bodies so as a tight five forward, it’s definitely helped me improve and grow my game.”
The 27-year-old departed the Rebels in 2020, with the second rower deciding to pursue the opportunity of playing in France to better prepare himself for Wallabies selection.
Philip made three test caps in 2017 and managed every game last test series.
“I feel like I’ve only just got started within the Wallabies environment. I have a lot to give so if provided the opportunity I won’t take a backwards step.
“France has been in lockdown since I arrived, so this has forced me to also develop and mature, becoming a more well-rounded person off the field.
“Playing for your country and representing your family is one of the best feelings I have had as a person to date.
“I have worked hard on bringing a level of consistency to my game with my carries, my set piece and my engine around the field. I hope this will put me in good stead come selection time,” Philip said.
Melbourne Rebels coach, Dave Wessels was excited to welcome Philip back to the Stockade and hopes he can bring some of his learnings from Top 14 French side, Pau to the Rebels.
“It’s fantastic to have Matt coming home. He’s a great person to have around the club and will be an important leader around the group.
“He’s a very competitive guy and works extremely hard at his game. We are proud of the progress he’s made over the last few years and look forward to seeing him continue to grow on the road ahead.”, Wessels said.
The Melbourne Rebels take on the Western Force this Friday night at AAMI Park in Melbourne to kick-off Round Eight of Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU.