Rebels Wrap: October 1

Fri, 01/10/2021, 06:55 am
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media
Andrew Kellaway is the man of the moment in Australian rugby right now.
Andrew Kellaway is the man of the moment in Australian rugby right now.

It’s been an enthralling past week in the Australian rugby world.

To keep you up to date with everything happening Rebels related, here’s your Rebels Wrap.

Rebel with a Cause – Star Weekly

As Year 12’s around the country begin to stress about their end of year grades and what life looks like post-high school, Antonio Sipa Masina will be preparing himself for life as a professional athlete.

As dauting as this may sound, for Antonio, this is something he’s been dreaming about since he was a kid.

“I played volleyball alongside my father, but my real passion is rugby union,” he said.

“I eat, sleep and breathe it.”

Masina hails from a family rich in athletic ability, with his father playing international volleyball for both New Zealand and Samoa, and his sister also playing for the Melbourne Rebels in the Super W league.

Shortly after Masina was picked for the Rebels Academy in 2018, he broke his ankle playing a club rugby game, which ruled him out of action for two years.

The arduous journey back to playing may have been too much to endure for many people of his age, but Masina is now reaping the rewards of his perseverance in the face of adversity and looms as a player to watch ahead of next Monday’s pre-season start.

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‘Entitled and cocky’: Why new Wallaby star’s incredible return rivals Quade’s

Although former Melbourne Rebel Quade Cooper’s return to the Wallabies has stolen the headlines, it shouldn’t take away Andrew Kellaway’s incredible rise from rugby obscurity to an international try-scoring machine.

After competing for the Rebels in the recent Trans-Tasman series, Kellaway was preparing to enjoy the off-season with a trip to Hamilton Island with his girlfriend.

However, those plans were abruptly cut short when he was unexpectedly given the opportunity of a lifetime - a chance to realise his boyhood dream of playing for the Wallabies.

Kellaway was a high school prodigy at Sydney’s Scot’s College, and he appeared to be a staple in the Wallabies’ line-up after he broke the try-scoring record at the Under-20s World Cup.

After suffering some major injury setbacks, Kellaway moved to England to try and reignite his once promising career.

Although Kellaway could’ve put his struggling career down to misfortune, he used his stints overseas as opportunities to reflect on where it all went wrong.

“The reason why it didn’t happen was because of me,” said Kellaway.

“I was a bit entitled and arrogant, not arrogant, but cocky and wanted things to happen my way and as I learned, that’s not how it works.”

How sweet redemption is!

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The chat that convinced Wallabies bolter to kiss French deal goodbye

When Rob Leota accepted a lucrative deal to play for French club Pau, he may have been putting his Wallabies future in jeopardy.

As Leota was winding down from the Rebels final game of the season, Rebels’ CEO Baden Stephenson approached him with some good news — Wallabies’ Head Coach Dave Rennie had expressed an interest on the departing flanker.

With that news at the forefront of Leota’s mind, he decided to stay loyal to his hometown club and sign a fresh two-year deal for The Stockade. By signing this contract Leota was gambling on himself, and that gamble has already started to pay dividends.

Leota, cheered on by all of Melbourne, debuted in a Rugby Championship match against the World Champion Springboks, an opportunity he wouldn’t have been afforded if he had flown over to France.

After debuting against South Africa, he was once again rewarded by Dave Rennie, this time with a starting position against the Argentines.

“We’re ecstatic for him,” Baden Stephenson said.

“Let’s hope he has a genuine crack this weekend and also, through 2022 and 2023. He’s a great, versatile player that can hopefully have a crack at the World Cup.”

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