The Melbourne Rebels are pleased to announce the valuable additions of Luke Vella and Zach Nelson to their High-Performance Team ahead of the 2022 Super Rugby season.
Vella has been appointed the Rebels’ new Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach, while Nelson will become the club’s new Physiotherapist and will work alongside the experienced Liam Robinson for the upcoming season.
Vella returns to Melbourne carrying a wealth of international top-level experience, having most recently worked five-years as Strength and Conditioning Coach at United Rugby Championship side, Edinburgh Rugby.
Prior to this, Vella held the position of Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Bath (2015 – 2017) and Rehabilitation Manager with the St Kilda Football Club (2012 – 2015).
Holding an impressive Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Exercise and Nutritional Science, Vella said he’s excited to be returning back to Melbourne and looking forward to extending his career in rugby.
“After spending a significant time working overseas, I’m looking forward to returning back home and joining such a fantastic club, like the Melbourne Rebels,” Vella said.
“Joining the Rebels’ high-performance program at such an exciting time for rugby both in Victoria and Australia, will be a great experience for myself, so I’m really excited to get started in September.”
Melbourne Rebels’ Head of Athletic Performance, Will Markwick said:
“We’re really excited to have someone of Luke’s calibre onboard with the Rebels.”
“Luke’s knowledge and experience will add great value to our high-performance team, and we look forward to him getting started ahead of a big pre-season campaign.”
Nelson joins the Rebels following a successful 2021 season in which he played an important role in helping AAMI Park neighbours, Melbourne City, claim a dominant A-League premiership.
Nelson has also gained valuable experience working at the Barwan Sports Physiotherapy Clinic, Erol Street Spinal and Sports Physiotherapy, and AFLW side, the Western Bulldogs.
The Masters of Exercise Science Graduate said he’s excited for his new opportunity and is driven to help the Rebels achieve the ultimate Super Rugby success.
“This is a great opportunity for me professionally to join a club with such a supportive culture, with elite talent and a great drive to grow and achieve special things on and off the field,” said Nelson.
“I’m really excited to start working with the Rebels and building on the hard work that has already been done.”
Melbourne Rebels’ Lead Physiotherapist, Liam Robinson, said:
“Bringing in someone with Zach’s experience will be a huge benefit to our program.
“Zach is a passionate, ambitious, and highly recommended professional, who will add depth to our medical department in an all-round fashion.
“We’re really excited to begin working with him in preparation for a big 2022 Super Rugby campaign.”