The Melbourne Rebels have today bid farewell to a number of valued members from its Super Rugby Pacific campaign, including four great servants of Australian rugby.
Michael Wells has played his final game in Rebels’ colours, heading west to join the Western Force, in what will be his fourth Super Rugby Club after making his professional debut back in 2016.
Last year’s Spirit of Weary Dunlop recipient has made 39 appearances for the Rebels over three years at the Club and departs Melbourne with the honour of having been Captain of the Rebels in the Club’s 12th season of Super Rugby competition.
Club legend, James Hanson, has also finished his time with the Rebels after
11 years and 134 games on the Super Rugby stage.
A member of the Rebels’ 2007 Australian Rugby Championship squad, Hanson made 53 Super Rugby appearances over four years with the Rebels and leaves Melbourne as a fan favourite and one of the most respected figures in Club history.
Lock, Ross Haylett-Petty, will depart the Rebels after 43 matches over five years with the Club, with the twenty-eight-year-old set to continue his professional playing career overseas.
Joining Haylett-Petty overseas will be experienced scrum-half Joe Powell.
After 73 games over six years with the Brumbies, Powell arrived in Melbourne at the end of 2020, going on to play 27 games across two years with the Rebels.
Meanwhile cross-code journeyman, Young Tonumaipea, will head back to where it all began, signing with AAMI Park neighbours the Melbourne Storm after 6 appearances with the Rebels over two seasons.
Looking ahead to 2023, the Melbourne Rebels will enter next season retaining the majority of its 2022 playing squad and current Wallabies and Junior Wallabies representatives.
The Melbourne Rebels can also confirm it has some exciting announcements to make in the coming days regarding new player signings and retentions.
The Melbourne Rebels wish nothing but great success to this year’s departing players and thanks them for their commitment and impact on Australian and Victorian rugby.