The Melbourne Rebels are proud to announce Luke Vella as the Club’s new Head of Athletic Performance for the upcoming 2024 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific season.
Vella, who holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Exercise and Nutritional Science, has gone from strength to strength since arriving at the Rebels in 2021.
The highly regarded professional will lead the Club’s Athletic Department following the departure of Will Markwick, who heads overseas after six years in Melbourne.
Vella carries a wealth of international top-level experience, having worked five-years as Strength and Conditioning Coach at United Rugby Championship side, Edinburgh Rugby.
Prior to this, Vella held the position of Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Bath (2015 – 2017) and Rehabilitation Manager with the St Kilda Football Club (2012 – 2015).
Vella said he’s honoured by the Club’s faith and excited to drive the Rebels into a successful pre-season campaign kicking off next week.
“I’m tremendously excited for the opportunity to continue to grow my involvement with the Rebels,” said Vella.
“We've got an extremely passionate coaching group and a squad of players that are eager to work hard and develop.
“The faith that Kevin, Baden, and Nick have shown in me to lead the Athletic Performance team has been very humbling, and I am eager to repay that trust.”
The Melbourne Rebels would also like to thank Will Markwick for the incredible impact he’s made on the Club. After arriving in 2017, Markwick developed into one of the Rebels most respected leaders, overseeing the evolution of the Club’s high performance program.
Markwick was also one of the most important drivers of the Rebels world class High Performance Centre that has since been used by a number of high-profile teams including Manchester United.
Working alongside Vella, Markwick played a crucial role with leading the Rebels to have a record 19 players selected across Australia’s three representative teams this season.
Vella said it was an honour to work under the popular Rebel, crediting Markwick for fast-tracking his professional development.
“The opportunity to work under Will Markwick over the last two years has been invaluable for my own development. He has taught me a lot about what it means to be a coach and the legacy he has built here at the Rebels will last a long time.”