The Melbourne Rebels and the Hanazono Kintetsu Liners are proud to announce the extension of their long standing partnership for another two years.
The Rebels and Liners alliance began as the most significant partnership ever established between an Australian Super Rugby Club and a Japanese company in 2019, with the partnership having the clear ambition of improving the on-field performance, growing the game and commercialisation of both Clubs in their respective markets.
The market leading partnership has since blossomed to see the exchange of high-performance staff, player pathways, the sharing of IP, strong commercial and trade opportunities, plus growing the game across both Melbourne and Osaka, using rugby as a catalyst to make strong contributions to the local community.
To celebrate today’s news, the Rebels will be returning to the land of the rising sun, with a week-long tour of Japan confirmed for October 8 to 15.
The opportunity to reunite with the Club’s great partner the Hanazono Kintetsu Liners in Osaka, while also strengthening the playing group’s cohesion will be an invaluable experience for the Rebels, with the Club’s pre-season campaign now just around the corner.
After travelling to Osaka for the first time since 2019, last year’s tour saw the Rebels and Liners toast their amazing relationship, while also providing the Rebels the opportunity to deepen its ties with the local community, showing gratitude through a variety of initiatives.
The five-day tour culminated with the inaugural exhibition match between both sides, played out in front of a packed crowd on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Osaka.
Melbourne Rebels CEO, Baden Stephenson, said the players and touring staff were excited to return to Osaka and celebrate the extension of an amazing partnership between the two market leaders.
“The Hanazono Kintetsu Liners and Melbourne Rebels partnership is a great rugby alliance and one that has stood the test of time, particularly as both Club’s successfully navigated through the challenges of COVID together,” said Stephenson.
“To see both of our Club’s continue to grow the game across our communities, strengthen our support for each other and embrace our diverse cultures, it's something we are incredibly proud of.
“We’re so excited to get to Japan and celebrate the extension of our partnership for another two years and the Liners success in retaining their place in the topflight of Japanese rugby. It’s a fantastic achievement and great testament to the hard work, dedication and selflessness by everyone in the Club.
“The opportunity to also immerse ourselves in a different culture, connect with the people of Osaka, and strengthen our off-field connection, will be an important experience for our squad and something that will hold us in good stead for what will be a massive 2024 season.”