Super Rugby mania will hit the Moorabbin Rugby Club on Saturday when the Rebels’ men’s and women’s teams unite for an action-packed morning of training, coaching, selfies and autograph signing.
In what is the first fan engagement opportunity since the ending of lockdown, the occasion promises to be a memorable affair for both supporters and players, according to Melbourne Rebels’ backrower, Sione Lolesio.
Attending the launching of Melton Secondary School’s rugby academy earlier today, the former Rebels’ Academy Graduate said his teammates were excited to reunite with their Super W colleagues and finally train in front of fans once again.
“This weekend’s Super Session will be a special moment for our Club and rugby in our state,” said Lolesio.
“After the awesome news our women’s side has created, it’s going to be great to connect with the whole team and celebrate just how far we have come and what’s ahead for our Club in 2022.
“It’s going to be an exciting day.”
Joining the Wyndham City product was Melanie Kawa, Meretiana Robinson, and exciting second-year prop Rhys Van Nek.
After making the journey to Melbourne just over 12 months ago, Queenslander Rhys Van Nek says despite the State’s competitive sports landscape, he’s been ‘blown away’ by the passion and excitement for grassroots rugby across Victoria.
“I came from a school very similar to this back in Brisbane, so it’s massive to see that rugby is now getting into the public school system and our sport is getting a greater reach out to students who have never had the opportunity or exposure to play it before, especially living in such an AFL dominated state,” said Van Nek.
“I also spoke to a number of students from league backgrounds today, with some from New Zealand or the Islands – destinations where the game is close to their hearts - so it’s fantastic they’ll now have the opportunity to purse the game they love, even further now.”
President and Founder of the Academy Movement, Jimmy Orange, credited the Rebels for their support at today’s launch and the Club’s overall efforts at inspiring the next generation of Burn Boys and Girls after a challenging 18 months.
“Having the Rebels staff and players here today highlights that this is a community team and one which I believe is the strongest community franchise in Super Rugby,” said Orange.
“If I need to talk to someone from the Club, I can always get a hold of them.
“Having four players from both the men’s and women’s side illustrates to me that they believe in the community and the hard work behind it – not just from a rugby perspective, but also a class re-engagement tool to get our students excited to come back to school as our state begins to move out of COVID.”
The New Zealand born teacher holds a strong connection to the Rebels following his incredible work with a number of the Club’s homegrown players including 2021 Super Rugby AU Team of the Year member, Trevor Hosea, whom Orange helped develop during his Fountain Gate days.
“It’s been great seeing our former students reaching the Super Rugby level – I think we’re at six now.”
“Having students like Lebron Naea, Sebastian Sialau and Eyda Haisila coming through as local talent, it really highlights that Victoria does have the talent and it’s a credit to the Rebels for creating that pathway and providing the opportunity to progress and play for the local Super Rugby team.”
Don’t miss your opportunity to meet every player from our men’s and women’s teams this Saturday when the Melbourne Rebels hosts its first Super Session of the season. Kicking off at 8:30 am on December 4 at the Moorabbin Rugby Club, the morning will include open training, a coaching clinic with the Melbourne Brothers Rugby Club, a sausage sizzle and selfie and autograph opportunities.
If you’re coming along, please remember to be COVID safe by showing proof of vaccination, ensuring physical distancing where possible and wearing a face mask while maintaining good hygiene. If you feel unwell, please stay home.