The Melbourne Rebels are excited to unveil Alex Mafi as the Club’s latest signing for the upcoming 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season.
Mafi has committed to the Club on a multi-year deal, signing with the Rebels until the end of the 2024 season.
The acquisition of the twenty-five-year-old, who has made 62 appearances for the Queensland Reds, will now provide the Rebels with a cornerstone in a talented forward pack for at least the next two Super Rugby Pacific campaigns.
Hailing from Brisbane, Mafi enjoyed a meteoric rise through Queensland’s elite rugby development systems, gaining three years of First XV experience with prestigious rugby school St Nudgee College, before winning selection with the Australian schoolboy’s program from 2013 to 2014.
A pair of eye-catching campaigns for Bond University in Premier Rugby and Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship competition in 2015, led to Mafi signing a three-year deal with his hometown Queensland Reds in 2016.
The young hooker enjoyed a strong opening season, going on to make nine appearances after making his Super Rugby debut in Round 7 against the Brumbies.
Over the next five years, Mafi would record another 53 matches for the Reds, including playing a crucial role in his side’s Super Rugby AU Grand Final victory in 2020.
As the talented forward enters the beginning of his prime, Mafi says he’s excited to join a Club so tightly connected to its local community and one that he believes has a bright future ahead.
“One of the driving factors of signing with the Rebels was seeing an improvement in the performances towards the backend of the season,” said Mafi.
“These performances showed there’s a heap of character in the squad and that the group is well connected to show a willingness to learn, improve and fight.
“This coupled with some exciting additions to the current squad, such as Sam Talakai, gave me a sense that something is brewing down south and that it would be a great opportunity for me to have a change of scenery and add to what is building at the Rebels.
“I was also a big fan from afar of the efforts and emphasis the Rebels showed in recognising the Pasifika culture on and off the field.
“The Pasifika jersey looked unreal this year. I also saw the photos from the Club’s post-match ceremony in the change-room, and to see Kevin Foote attempting the Samoan Siva was not just funny, but awesome to see the Pasifika culture being embraced.
“Looking ahead to next year, I’ll be aiming to bring a point of difference to our team’s attack and provide the backs with a platform to launch off the set-piece. I can’t wait.”
Melbourne Rebels Head Coach, Kevin Foote, said it was fantastic to welcome such a young, high calibre talent to the Club.
“We’re very excited to have Alex join the Rebels,” said Foote
“Alex is a gifted player with a wealth of Super Rugby experience, who at just twenty-five, still has an enormous amount of growth in his game, so we’re thrilled that’s going to be at the Melbourne Rebels.
“He’s another high-character person whom we believe will add a lot of value to our Club on and off the field for years to come, so that’s really exciting for our fans.”