A tenacious half-back with a confrontational game and an appetite for running at defenders, Ryan Louwrens continues to go from strength to strength in his second stint with the Rebels.
After gaining overseas experience playing for the Austin Gilgronis in the Major League Rugby and with our great partners the Hanazono Kintetsu Liners in Japan, Louwrens returned to Melbourne at the end of 2022, determined to add to his 9 appearances for the Rebels in 2020.
A renowned fan favourite, the burly scrum-half hit the ground running in his return, starting every game of the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season, scoring four tries and playing an impressive 899 combined minutes.
The thirty-two-year-old has left no stone unturned sharpening up his game in the off-season, using the past four months to increase his fitness, strength and ball skills with the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season now fast approaching.
A respected leader and training workhorse, Louwrens tenacity and consistency was rewarded when he was named Captain for the Rebels recent Tour match against the Liners in Japan.
Rebels Media recently caught up with Louwrens as he prepares for the start of a new pre-season campaign kicking off in November.
Ryan - you were awarded the honour of Captaining the Melbourne Rebels for the second annual Rebels vs Liners match in Osaka two weeks ago. Given your connection to the Hanazono Kintetsu Liners and the local community, what did that recognition mean to you and your family?
Given the close relationship between our Club, myself and Kintetsu, it was an absolute honour to lead the Rebels onto the field. I obviously appreciate the trust our coaches had in me and the occasion was made even more special to compete against my previous Kintetsu team members. The tour of Osaka brought back fond memories of me and my family’s time in Japan. It was also great to interact once again with my Kintetsu coaches and management who I made great memories with during my time playing for the Club.
One of the daily offseason highlights for our staff this year has been watching you out on Gosch’s Paddock running bronco after bronco. As one of the fiercest, more consistent workers at the Rebels, what’s been driving you this off-season?
The desire to win and compete is what’s driving me this off season. I see the off season as a time where you can get fitter, faster and stronger. By the time pre-season starts I want to be heading into it full of confidence and one-hundred percent ready to go for the block and season ahead.
Our Club has announced a number of key signings this off-season from capped Wallabies and All Blacks, to exciting international Sevens stars. As we approach the start of the 2023 pre-season, who are some of the new players that have impressed you so far with their intent, work rate and presence?
Firstly, our management has done an excellent job in recruiting some new players to strengthen our squad. The one player that has really stood out is Lukhan Salakai -Loto. He has come into the team and has not only brought his experience as a player but also has excellent leadership skills. He is a player that gets stuck in at training and competes for everything. He leads by action and not just words which I respect and value. I believe that will help us create a winning culture at the Club in season 2024.