Monty Ioane is coming home.
After nine years playing overseas, the Melbourne Rebels are excited to unveil Ioane as the Club’s latest signing for the upcoming Super Rugby Pacific season, with Ioane committing to the Rebels until at least the end of the 2023 season.
The acquisition of the capped international who has made 14 appearances for Italy, will bolster the Rebels stocks on the wing with his explosive pace set to ignite the AAMI Park faithful.
After plying his trade as a junior at the Endeavour Hills Rugby Club, Ioane made his professional debut at just eighteen-years-old for Paris side, Stade Français in the Top 14.
Following a pair of eye-catching campaigns in the Mitre 10 Cup, Ioane signed with Italian side Benetton, where he played 81 matches over six seasons.
After being named in the PRO14 Dream Team for two straight campaigns (2018-2019 and 2019-2020), Ioane would win selection for the Italian national team, debuting in the Autumn Nations Cup Final against Wales.
Ioane says returning to where his career first began was a dream come true.
"Growing up in a strong rugby family, Melbourne was where my love for the game first began”, said Ioane.
"It’s honestly a dream to return back home and represent my city at the highest level now. I never thought the opportunity would arise but here I am today and it’s one of the most exciting moments of my playing career. I can’t wait for the opportunity to push my case and run out onto AAMI Park wearing a Rebels jersey.”
"Looking back on my time in juniors, I’ve had some great memories playing for Endeavour Hills, especially from under-12’s when I was captain and we ended up winning the grand final against Northcote.
“When I started my junior rugby here, it was tough, but looking forward to where Melbourne has come with rugby now and the pathways available, it’s honestly incredible.
"Having homegrown players playing for the Rebels is special and as a Victorian, I have great pride seeing the opportunities created for the kids, that next generation, and giving them something to dream of and pursue.”
Melbourne Rebels GM of Rugby, Nick Stiles, said the Club was thrilled to bring home another proud Victorian.
“It’s great to have such a quality talent and person like Monty join the Melbourne Rebels,” said Stiles.
“After growing up playing in the Victorian rugby community, it’s been fantastic to see Monty’s pride in the growth of rugby in our state and the opportunities that are now available for young, hungry, and talented Victorian players.
“Monty will obviously be a valuable addition on the field, but off it, he’ll bring great value mentoring our next generation of Victorian Rebels and showing them what it takes to develop into a successful Test player.
“It's a really exciting time for Victorian rugby. We’ve just had the senior and junior grand finals, Melbourne’s hosting a Bledisloe match for the first time since 2010 with five Rebels pushing for selection and next week, we’ll be hosting the inaugural Victorian Cup Series which will see our state's best Club players receiving the opportunity to test themselves against Super Rugby competition and compete for a spot on the Rebels tour of Japan.”
Catch Monty Ioane's first game in Melbourne Rebels colours on Friday September 23, when the Melbourne Rebels host the inaugural Victorian Club Series at Power House Junior Rugby Club. With five games and free entry, it promises to be a memorable day of Victorian Rugby.