2017 Season Preview: Rebels
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By Pete Fairbairn, 22.02.17

In preparation for the 2017 Super Rugby season, which the Rebels kick off against the Blues tomorrow night, RUPA are running the rule over a big year for each of the Australian teams; on and off the pitch!

The Rebels’ new Player Development Manager Lyndall Down has just started her role this week, and will provide enormous support to the playing group in Melbourne.

As she’s still settling in at the Club, RUPA asked Rebels’ General Manager of Football Baden Stephenson to provide an insight into what to look out for, on and off the field, at the Club this year.

2016 RUPA Camp Attendees:

Jackson Garden-Bachop, Tyrel Lomax, Jack Maddocks, Jack McGregor, Fereti Sa’aga, Alex Toolis, Jordan Uelese

2017 Intake:

Dominic Day, Pama Fou, Marika Koroibete, Tyrel Lomax, Jack Maddocks, Amanaki Mafi, Jack McGregor, Fereti Sa’aga, Jake Schatz, Alex Toolis, Jordan Uelese, Ben Volavola

2016 RUPA Awards Winners:

Reece Hodge (Newcomer of the Year)

Most impressive newcomer:

“It’s really hard to split between three 2016 Australian U20s players we’ve welcomed to the Club in Jack Maddocks, Tyrel Lomax and Jordan Uelese,” Stephenson said. “All three players have transitioned in to the full-time Rugby program very well and have made immediate impact.

“Jack and Tyrel are living together and have had a learning curve in life skills and they are all committed to exploring options regarding further education, with Jack already enrolled at University.”

It’s going to be a big year off the field for:

“Tom English has really taken on a greater responsibility in regards to player wellbeing and team dynamics which has been excellent,” Stephenson said. “Tom has great balance in his life as he juggles study, family and social commitments around his Rugby.

"Tom has recently purchased an apartment in Melbourne with his partner Bess, and she has also taken a lead role with assisting the partners & wives with their transition, engagement and integration to the Club. The Rebels are very fortunate that Tom and Bess are passionate about building a Club that is not only very welcoming but also very proactive in ensuring that there is holistic support.”

Describe your team’s leadership:

“The Rebels have a dynamic and evolving leadership group that has clearly defined portfolios, increased engagement with all pillars of the Club and drives a player-led environment,” Stephenson said. “We are really excited about the growth of this group and the opportunities that exist.

“We have tailored our leadership group to best utilise the strengths, skillset, experience and personalities within the group. The players voted for the leadership group as it was very important that there is buy in and trust; the leaders elected were Nic Stirzaker (Captain), Tom English, Colby Fainga’a, James Hanson, Sean McMahon, Jordy Reid and Laurie Weeks.”

What role are you playing to support the players to perform at their best?

“The Club has made some strategic appointments to support the wellbeing and growth of our playing group and staff," Stephenson said. "We are completing some formal sports psychology training, we’ve increased our exposure to a sports chaplain and we’re looking forward to Lyndall settling into the Rebels environment.

“Our Club has had some positive learnings over the course of the last year and feel that we have the best practice support networks to take the Club forward.”

List of those enrolled in study:

- Steve Cummins (Bachelor of Business)
- Jack Debreczeni (Bachelor of Commerce)
- Tom English (Bachelor of Arts)
- Reece Hodge (Bachelor of Physiotherapy)
- Mitch Inman (Graduate Certificate of Project Management)
- Sam Jeffries (Bachelor of Law)
- Jack Maddocks (Bachelor of Arts)
- Jack McGregor (Bachelor of Physiology)
- Tim Metcher (Bachelor of Business)
- Jordy Reid (Bachelor of Business)
- Dominic Shipperley (Bachelor of Commerce)
- Toby Smith (Bachelor of Commerce)
- Mick Snowden (Bachelor of Education)
- Nic Stirzaker (Bachelor of Business)
- Alex Toolis (Business & Sports Enterprise)
- Sione Tuipulotu (Bachelor of Arts)
- Laurie Weeks (Bachelor of Education)

Home Games:

- Thursday 23rd February vs. Blues
- Friday 17th March vs. Chiefs
- Friday 24th March vs. Waratahs
- Saturday 15th April vs. Brumbies
- Saturday 6th May vs. Lions
- Saturday 13th May vs. Reds
- Saturday 27th May vs. Crusaders
- Friday 14th July vs. Jaguares

For more information on the Rebels, including player profiles, membership, tickets, merchandise and news, head to their official website.

22.02.17
Pete Fairbairn
Communications Manager
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